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Of course intersectionality includes class

I thought this was a good write-up by Katie Halper. I love that the Clinton campaign's final contribution to politics is an argument over the definition of the word "but". It has a certain symmetry to it.

I remember reading this exchange during the primary and how it made me feel queasy:

In an obvious dig at Sanders, who the Clinton campaign was deriding as a "single issue candidate," Clinton asked, rhetorically, "Not everything is about an economic theory, right? If we broke up the big banks tomorrow -- and I will, if they deserve it, if they pose a systemic risk, I will -- would that end racism?" When the audience responded "No!" Clinton took the call and response and really ran with it, asking "Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the LGBT community? Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight? Would that solve our problem with voting rights, and Republicans who are trying to strip them away from people of color, the elderly, and the young?"

The audience responded to each of these questions with... "No!"

I kept waiting for Clinton's plan to end discrimination and the policy differences she had from Sanders that necessitated abandoning his economic approach. But nothing ever surfaced.


By fnord12 | December 8, 2016, 8:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Welcome to the Monkey Cage

After Trump falsely claimed on Twitter that he would have won the popular vote "if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally", the media (rightly) demanded to know where he got that information. And Trump told them it was from the Washington Post:

In 2014, under the headline "Could non-citizens decide the November election?" the Post had run a piece from two social scientists, Jesse Richman and David Earnest, suggesting that illegal voting by non-citizens could be regularly occurring, and could even be prevalent enough to tip elections. As they wrote:

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

Richman and Earnest's thesis was extremely controversial, and was so heavily criticized that the Post ultimately published a note preceding the article, pointing out that many objections to the work had been made. But the Post never actually retracted or withdrew the piece.

In response, the Washington Post went in a weird direction:

Without actually linking to the Post's original article about voting by non-citizens, fact-checker Michelle Ye Hee Lee tried to claim that the study wasn't really in the Washington Post. Instead, she said, it: "was published two years ago in the Monkey Cage, a political-science blog hosted by The Washington Post. (Note to Trump's staff members: This means you can't say The Washington Post reported this information; you have to cite the Monkey Cage blog.)"

It was an embarrassing defense. The writers had explicitly said that a reasonable extrapolation from existing data was that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in the 2008 election. They had said so in an article that appeared on the Washington Post's website, displayed in exactly the same manner as every single other piece of reportage. And the Post had never taken the article down or retracted the claim, and had only noted that the piece was highly controversial. Yet instead of apologizing for the Post's role in spreading a dubious claim, Lee relied on ridiculous distinctions. She insisted that the Post had "hosted" rather than "published" the article. She attempted to enforce a made-up rule, that people aren't allowed to cite the article as coming from the Post, but must instead cite it as coming from something called the "Monkey Cage," which sounds far less credible. Yet on the article page itself, there is no such disclaimer to indicate a distinction between non-Post-endorsed "blog posts" and actual Post writing, and the words "Monkey Cage" appear in tiny letters beneath the ordinary full-sized Washington Post logo. There is nothing to make ordinary readers aware that the Post is not responsible for any claims made in these corners of its website.

I'll link directly to the original article and let you decide if you would cite that as coming from the Post. I would (even still).

Now (and this shouldn't need to be said) this is not a defense of Trump. That article clearly had major problems and should obviously not have been cited by anyone, let alone the President-Elect on a topic that undermines faith in our democracy and stirs up hate for immigrants. The point is how much the Washington Post sucks in a) publishing that without skepticism, b) not retracting it after it got multiple takedowns from experts, and c) resorting to the lame defense that it wasn't "really" them after Trump cited it.

This has relevance to another story. A few posts down i linked to a few discussions of the Washington Post's unskeptical article on PropOrNot, the organization that is pushing a list of "fake news" sites that, among other things, it advocates get investigated by the FBI (a list that features many legit, if non-mainstream, sites). After much pushback, the Post has put a mealy mouthed "Editor's Note" at the top of the article, saying that they don't vouch for PropOrNot and that it was only one of four organizations mentioned in their article. As Adam Johnson of FAIR says, that's bullshit. 90% of the Post's article was about PropOrNot, and it was the only part of the article that was new (i.e. "news"). PropOrNot had some very specific claims about the number of "planted" articles that were viewed. And when the Post's article first came out, it was widely cited by major pundits and Clinton campaign operatives on Twitter, all who have large followings. So talking about undermining faith in democracy, we now have a Post article shared by millions who think that it's proof that Russia hacked our election. The Post's belated editor's note won't get nearly as much coverage, and since the Post isn't actually retracting the article, it will still be there for someone to cite the same way Trump cited the election fraud article.

By the way, i did check the Post's PropOrNot article, and it says "Business" in the same place that the election fraud article said "Monkey Cage". Does that mean i should be saying that it's not a Washington Post article, it's a Business article?

P.S. The article i linked to at top also gets into the topic of fact checking sites and their flaws; it's worth a full read.


By fnord12 | December 8, 2016, 7:35 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Now That's an Ornament

That is a goddamned centaur Santa and a unicorn wearing lederhosen! Lederhosen!!! We don't put up a tree by we should buy those, right? RIGHT???

fnord12: Right!


By min | December 7, 2016, 2:13 PM | Ummm... Other? | Link




Taibbi Reviews Friedman's Thank You For Being Late

*snort*

Link

Take the chapter about Mother Nature, which opens with a story about a day in July, 2015 when the heat index in southern Iran reached 163 degrees. That news item gives the author an opening to introduce the concept of a "black elephant," an ominous (if you know Friedman) term apparently explained to him by environmentalist Adam Sweidan:

"[It is] a cross between a 'black swan' - a rare, low-probability, unanticipated event with enormous ramifications - and 'the elephant in the room': a problem that is widely visible to everyone, yet that no one wants to address, even though we absolutely know that one day it will have vast, black-swan-like consequences."

You would think he could just say, "The climate change problem is a cross between a black swan and the elephant in the room - or, as I like to call it, a Black Elephant."

Instead he leads audiences through drawn-out explanations of two everyday terms. Moreover his unnecessary definition of "the elephant in the room" contains the phrase "black swan," making what was originally a relatively simple idea now a kind of circular movie-within-a-movie image that is more than a little hard to follow: "A black elephant is a cross between a black swan event and the elephant in the room, which is an ignored but visibly obvious problem that will inevitably become a black swan event."

You're still grappling with that when you learn "there are a herd of environmental black elephants out there."

...

Did you know that "megatoothed sharks prowled the oceans" the last time the CO2 concentration in the earth's atmosphere was as high as it was in Hawaii on May 3rd, 2013, an astonishing four hundred parts per million? You probably didn't, because things that prowl usually have feet - but anyway, back to the elephants...

It's almost too easy to mock Thomas Friedman, but he's out there influencing people with his make-no-sense words so he definitely deserves all the mockery that can be bestowed upon him.

And there are graphs!!! I'm dying!


By min | December 6, 2016, 12:36 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Ok, i found that radical center

They're willing to risk civil war to install John Kasich as president.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2016, 8:22 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




What a toaster oven should look like

I honestly started a regiment of scrubbing it every two weeks about a year ago but i clearly wasn't making any progress.

Ok, it shouldn't be so grody, but besides that...

Two dials: one for the oven temperature and another for toast level. And a button to initiate the toasting. You don't want the toasting to be initiated by twisting a dial because a) it means you have to re-choose your ideal toast level each time and b) dials are inevitably accompanied by infernal ticking (and don't get us started on this 'twist it past the toast settings and then back' business). You also don't need a third dial that somehow chooses between oven use, toasting, and a number of other things that you don't need from a toaster oven. Note that on this toaster there is no need to designate between oven and toaster; it just somehow always knew. In addition to not ticking, it also did not beep or ring. It just silently did its job.

We always took our little toaster oven for granted until it went out like a hero in a fiery death and we started shopping for a new one.


min: cereally. could you not have cropped out the gross looking door? now people will think badly of us and our hygiene. but YES! why are new toasters so stupid? i don't need a rotisserie feature! and i don't care what size pizza it can fit. i just want it to toast my bread, actually fit 4 slices as advertised, and warm things up.

and apparently, every toaster in existence had an exploding door at one point, so you might as well just ignore those negative reviews.

then there are the assholes who think that answering any question with "why do you want to do that?" is somehow helpful and in any way appreciated. shut up, douchebag. and when the answer to "does anyone know of a toaster that doesn't make a lot of noise and tick" is "just set it to toast and use a separate timer", there is something very wrong with the universe.


By fnord12 | December 5, 2016, 9:50 AM | My stupid life | Link




Russia stuff

I thought this Harper's article was just going to talk about the recent claims that Russia hacked our election and/or has been targeting us with "fake news". But it's actually a deep dive into our history of inflating the threat of Russia. It's a good, but long, read.

Regarding the "fake news", it's worth seeing this (and similar write-ups by the Intercept and Matt Taibbi and others) regarding the latest claim from the Washington Post, which has smeared leftie websites like Naked Capitalism (which we've read and linked to for years), CounterPunch, and Black Agenda Report, and right-leaning and libertarian sites like Antiwar and the Ron Paul Institute and even the Drudge Report, all with no evidence.


By fnord12 | December 2, 2016, 8:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Fixing our economy is a national defense interest

Emptywheel has some interesting thoughts on our industrial policy (i'd say "or lack thereof", but her point is that we actually do have one).


By fnord12 | December 1, 2016, 12:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Keith Ellison on the Democratic Party

Link

Most importantly, he reminds all the blockheads that hey, you can actually fight for people of color and the white working class at the same goddamned time!

Well, the party needs to be very clear that we have to stand for a strong, populist economic message and we have to care for everybody's rights and uphold everyone's human dignity. If we try to trade one for the other, we're going to lose both.

The way the working class is always controlled is that it's divided. When you don't stand together in solidarity, the other side starts picking off groups, and they end up hurting everybody.

...many people in the white working class voted for Obama twice, and then they voted for Trump. The way I see it, the alt-right movement is parasitic, trying to insert itself into the legitimate grievances of the American working class. If they are allowed to be successful, everyone's situation is going to get worse. Once they turn us against each other, they get people competing against each other, our focus turns, and the economic situation gets worse.

Why is the south historically the poorest part of the country? Because when they held black people in slavery, they didn't have to pay white people much of nothing.

So we are all better off when we have solidarity. We need to unify because if we're together, we can make a common demand for more fairness and more prosperity.


By min | December 1, 2016, 12:07 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Follow-Up on Trump's Carrier Deal

Lest we get confused because Trump did something to save jobs that Obama didn't, Sanders reminds us why Trump's deal was a chump deal.

Loathe as i am to give WaPo traffic...Link.

In exchange for allowing United Technologies to continue to offshore more than 1,000 jobs, Trump will reportedly give the company tax and regulatory favors that the corporation has sought. Just a short few months ago, Trump was pledging to force United Technologies to "pay a damn tax." He was insisting on very steep tariffs for companies like Carrier that left the United States and wanted to sell their foreign-made products back in the United States. Instead of a damn tax, the company will be rewarded with a damn tax cut. Wow! How's that for standing up to corporate greed? How's that for punishing corporations that shut down in the United States and move abroad?

In essence, United Technologies took Trump hostage and won. And that should send a shock wave of fear through all workers across the country.

Trump has endangered the jobs of workers who were previously safe in the United States. Why? Because he has signaled to every corporation in America that they can threaten to offshore jobs in exchange for business-friendly tax benefits and incentives. Even corporations that weren't thinking of offshoring jobs will most probably be re-evaluating their stance this morning. And who would pay for the high cost for tax cuts that go to the richest businessmen in America? The working class of America.

...

If United Technologies or any other company wants to keep outsourcing decent-paying American jobs, those companies must pay an outsourcing tax equal to the amount of money it expects to save by moving factories to Mexico or other low-wage countries. They should not receive federal contracts or other forms of corporate welfare. They must pay back all of the tax breaks and other corporate welfare they have received from the federal government. And they must not be allowed to reward their executives with stock options, bonuses or golden parachutes for outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries. I will soon be introducing the Outsourcing Prevention Act, which will address exactly that.

If Donald Trump won't stand up for America's working class, we must.



By min | December 1, 2016, 12:00 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Own it and be ready

Yglesias makes a fair point (warning: Twitter): "When Obama used leverage over contractors to get paid leave for *over a million people* it was a minor story." He means this in contrast to Trump's Carrier actions.

But two counterpoints: 1) First, Trump (unsurprisingly) knows how to promote himself. You can whine all you want about lack of media coverage. Trump makes his own. Why couldn't Democrats? In part it's because they're embarrassed about what they do because they're triangulating between opposing constituents. In part because they're meek and don't like getting yelled at by Republicans. Trump welcomes the fight with the "losers and haters" and makes sure his supporters know (and/or believe) that he's fighting for them.

2) Obama didn't start doing stuff like this until the Dems lost their third straight Congressional election after he was elected. We talked about this at the time. Suddenly Obama found out that he could do things. So very late in his administration he started taking executive action, and many of these things haven't even gone into effect yet. The thing that Yglesias is talking about was announced at the end of this September. By the time it would have gone into effect, Trump will have reversed it. Similarly, we cheered when Obama updated the overtime threshold. That has since been put on hold by a district court in Texas, and i guarantee Trump won't pursue the appeal. As we've said before, you have to have this stuff ready for the day you walk into office. Hell, Trump isn't even waiting until he's president. Whichever Democrats are looking at themselves in the mirror and saying "2020" had better have a long list of the things they are going to do in their first 100 days that don't need to go through Congress, both so they can tout them on the campaign trail and so we don't have to wait seven years before they start enacting them.


By fnord12 | December 1, 2016, 11:42 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Taibbi interviews Bernie

Where we go from here.


By fnord12 | November 30, 2016, 3:52 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Residents of Flint Can't Get Clean Water, But...

Nestle can pump whatever they want for practically nothing. It's only 10:30am and my brain's about to explode. I need to stop reading the news.

Michigan regulators were deluged with angry comments this week, after reports that the state had drafted a permit approval for Nestlé to nearly double the amount of groundwater it pumps from a plant in Evart, Michigan to 210m gallons a year.

The pumping increase is only expected to cost the Swiss food giant $200 a year, and possibly the price of a permit fee, because its bottling plant in Evart is considered a private well under state law, regulators said.

Don't forget the profit Nestle makes from people buying bottled water and sending it to the residents of Michigan so that they don't have to drink lead-filled water. Essentially, selling Michigan's water back to them. ARGH!

Groundwater should be a public resource. It shouldn't be fucking Tank Girl.

Petition


By min | November 30, 2016, 10:37 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Since We're Talking About Dems Refusing to Acknowledge the Real Problem with the Party

Here's a Naomi Klein article on why Clinton's loss shouldn't be reduced to "sexism".

Voters chose a loose cannon of a man with zero government experience over a calm, collected and supremely qualified woman. The root cause of this injustice, many have suggested, can only be sexism -- proof that the glass ceiling protecting the highest reaches of power cannot yet be shattered.

The reaction is understandable. It's also wrong and unnecessarily demoralizing.

...

This election needed a Democrat who could call out, again and again, the myriad hypocrisies and absurdities of Mr. Trump's claim to be a hero for the downtrodden working class. In the debates, Mrs. Clinton landed points when she exposed Mr. Trump's history of outsourcing and tax dodging. But by then Mr. Trump had already spent the summer mocking his opponent for her private parties with oligarchs, painting her own lifestyle as profoundly out of touch with ordinary Americans (which it is).

In short, she landed on many of the right messages, but she was the wrong messenger.

Similarly, there was much to be made of the scandals at Mr. Trump's foundation and at Trump University. But the Clinton Foundation -- and its various entangled relationships between private corporations, foreign governments and public officials -- made Mrs. Clinton's attacks far too easy to turn back at her.

We'll never know what it would have looked like for a woman who is outside the Davos class to have run against Mr. Trump, because voters were not given that option.

...

[emphasis mine]
Here is the biggest problem with elevating sexism to the defining explanation of Mrs. Clinton's loss: It lets her machine and her failed policies off the hook. It erases the role played by the appetite for endless war and the comfort with market-friendly incremental change, no matter the urgency of the crisis (from climate change to police violence to raging inequality). It erases the disgust over Mrs. Clinton's coziness with Wall Street and with the wreckage left behind by trade deals that benefited corporations at the expense of workers.

In this version, it's all about sexism. And that is the surest way to ensure that the Democratic Party's disastrous 2016 mistakes will be repeated -- only next time, with a man at the top of the ticket.

...

That Mrs. Clinton could be defeated by the likes of Mr. Trump remains disgraceful. But Mrs. Clinton was too flawed a candidate for this disgrace to go down in history as a defeat for her gender.

Come January, Donald Trump and the Republican Party will have a great deal of power. Let's not hand them power they have not actually earned -- the power to crush the possibility that the right woman may one day become president.

Hear that, Madeleine Albright? The right woman. Speaking as a woman, we aren't just going to vote for someone because they are female. They actually have to represent the things we want. It's sexist to assume otherwise and appallingly sexist to scold women for feeling this way.


By min | November 30, 2016, 9:14 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Is Obama Out of Touch or Just an Asshole?

Cereally. WTF? Link

Donald Trump is in negotiations with Carrier to keep two Indiana air conditioning and furnace plants from moving to Mexico, eliminating 2,100 U.S. jobs. A video of executives informing workers of the plant closures went viral in February, leading Trump to vow to stop the outsourcing. Now president-elect, he is exerting his new leverage to make that a reality.

But someone else already holds that power. His name is Barack Obama. He just doesn't seem to care.

The most Obama has said about Carrier, at a June town hall in Indiana, is that some jobs "are just not going to come back."

This is all part of his new laissez faire attitude to everything, i guess. Just forget about those jobs. Let the DAPL situation play itself out. What's everyone so upset about?

Obama could have used those lucrative contracts as a condition of maintaining the Carrier plant, just as Trump is now being urged to do by Sen. Bernie Sanders. "I call on Mr. Trump to make it clear to the CEO of United Technologies that if his firm wants to receive another defense contract from the taxpayers of this country, it must not move these plants to Mexico," Sanders said in a statement last week.

It's precisely the kind of hardball Obama has consistently played with federal contractors in other contexts. He has signed executive orders to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour, ensure paid sick leave, and promote from within the company. He also signed an order to make companies ineligible for federal contracts if they violated employment and labor law over the past three years. He has no compunction against using the government's leverage as a large purchaser of goods and services to get better outcomes for workers. But this power has been set aside with respect to Carrier -- and outsourcing in general.

If we could only get Trump to listen to everything Sanders suggests...

Sanders, who routinely criticizes the excess profits and corporate welfare earned by companies that ship jobs overseas, recently vowed to introduce the Outsourcing Prevention Act, which would prevent companies that outsource from receiving federal contracts, tax breaks, grants, or loans, and would claw back a decade's worth of those federal benefits from any company that outsources more than 50 jobs in a given year. Sanders would also tax companies that move jobs offshore, and tax the bonuses, stock options, and golden parachutes of executives of outsourcing companies.

At that Indiana town hall, Obama did not show this kind of fight. "You cannot look backwards," he said then. "And that doesn't make folks feel good sometimes, especially if it was a town that's reliant on a couple of big manufacturers. But they're going to have to retrain for the jobs of the future, not the jobs of the past."

Retraining?? RETRAINING!!! WTF are people supposed to retrain for, you asshat? Who's going to pay for it since you took away their jobs, and they haven't got any income? And exactly which mythical company is going to hire a 40-50 yr old with zero prior experience?

He's got plenty of energy for things like TPP, but for anything else, he's basically put up the "Gone Fishing" sign. If you're not going to be useful, at least get the fuck out of the way. And stop creating situations where i have to blog a "look what Trump's doing that Obama couldn't be bothered to try" post.


By min | November 30, 2016, 8:37 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




In short: he's trolling you

Michael Tracey has some good advice for journalists, and everyone really, on dealing with Trump's tweets.

I did love how after Trump's latest flag burning tweet Clinton surrogates were all "See? See? He really is a bad guy!" (as if that were in doubt). And then when it was pointed out that Clinton co-sponsored an actual bill banning flag burning in 2005, the response was 1) well it was to prevent a constitutional amendment! and 2) yeah, but she wasn't going to revoke citizenship. On 1), this is the second time the "prevent constitutional amendment" defense was invoked - the first was over DOMA - and i love how when leftists want a constitutional amendment - say, Bernie's proposal to get money out of politics - we're told that we're asking for an unpossible unicorn, but when Republicans threaten it Democrats immediately shit their pants and hand over their (actually our) wallets. And for 2), i continue to marvel at how the Clinton people think being slightly less awful is a winning strategy. I know i sound like i'm re-litigating the primary but Clinton's campaign team, her supporters in the DNC, etc., aren't going away and we're going to be fighting these same battles in 2020 if we don't nip this stuff in the bud.

Aaand judging by how far i went off topic here, looks like i failed to follow Tracey's advice. How the fuck did i get sucked into an argument about flag burning?


By fnord12 | November 30, 2016, 7:49 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Tell me about that special place in Hell

Madeleine Albright demands mooooooaaaar bombing.

I thought this was telling:

Produced by a task force led by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, a Democrat, and former U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, a Republican, the report amounts to a bipartisan rejection of President Barack Obama's decision to limit U.S. military engagement in the nearly six-year civil war.

Largely drafted before Republican Donald Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, the paper, which has not been presented to Trump...

Albright was a surrogate of Clinton's on the campaign trail, and it sure looks to me like this report was going to be released as formal support for Clinton's planned escalation in Syria, and after Clinton's surprising loss they just decided to dump it out there anyway. You'd think that palling around with Stephen "Iraq is seeking yellowcake uranium" Hadley would give you pause, but this is Madeleine "we think it's worth it" Albright we're dealing with.

Title cf.


min: Ugh. You awful, awful woman. Just go AWAY!

By fnord12 | November 30, 2016, 7:29 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




All Things Monkey

Clearly, i had an obligation to blog about an article titled "Who's Top Monkey?". Clearly.

Life for female rhesus macaques is a little like being trapped in high school--groups have intense social hierarchies where those at the top spend more time socializing and those at the bottom endure passive-aggressive overtures from peers. A study published today in Science reveals that social status in macaques can actually impact their immune system, resulting in significant differences in immune function between high- and low-status monkeys.

In the study, which was a collaboration among scientists at Duke University, Emory University and the University of Montreal, researchers organized 45 adult female macaques into social hierarchies and measured the animals' immune functions. They found that high-status monkeys have more immune cells needed to combat viral attacks, whereas low-status monkeys have heightened activity in cells that respond to bacterial invaders. Moreover, when the researchers artificially manipulated the monkeys' social ranks, their immune functions changed accordingly. The findings suggest a causal relationship between social rank and immune function that is reversible based on changing social conditions.

...

Robert Sapolsky, a neuroendocrinologist at Stanford University who studies primates but was not involved in the study, wrote a perspective on the research also published today in Science. "We know that the most pounding, permeating form of social subordination in humans--poverty--produces poor health through a variety of mechanisms," he wrote in an email. "The study adds an important additional pathway by which this might occur."

For Tung, however, the outlook is not entirely bleak. "We've convincingly shown that chronic social stress by itself can change the way our body works," she says, "But the hopeful message is how responsive [immune] systems are to changes in the social environment. That's really different than the possibility that your social history stays with you your entire life."

So, if you're in high school and it sucks, you can continue to tell yourself that it gets better. And if you can find someone willing to groom you, it could get better even sooner.


By min | November 29, 2016, 12:10 PM | Science | Link




Universal Basic Income

It's made it to Vox.


By fnord12 | November 25, 2016, 6:07 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Give up the ghost

Not content to spend his final days in office allowing the police to crack the heads of Native American protestors (and see Min's post below), continuing to push the TPP, and, of course, bombing the Middle East, Obama is fighting the appointment of Keith Ellison to the DNC. The cover story is that they've suddenly decided - after being fine with Debbie Wasserman Schultz for five years - that the head of the DNC ought to be "full time". It's a curious definition of full time that excludes people who have a safe seat in the party that they will be running but is ok with people like Howard Dean, who is a lobbyist for the health care industry (but if you read the article, you'll see they'll take just about anyone instead of Ellison).

Schultz was forced out only because Wikileaks revealed that she was colluding to help Clinton in the primaries, not because anyone (in power) thought that she was doing a bad job or wasn't able to devote enough time to her job.

The real reason is this:

Some Democrats [who?], in Mr. Obama's orbit and beyond [seriously, go on the record you cowards], say that elevating Mr. Ellison would amount to handing the party to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton's primary race opponent, and his liberal followers.

You guys lost the presidency to a reality show host and you haven't controlled congress since 2008. Maybe it's time to admit that you're a failure and fade away already.


By fnord12 | November 23, 2016, 7:31 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




This is How It's Playing Out

While lame duck Obama is in Europe on his farewell tour, the protesters at Standing Rock are getting abused by the cops.

Link

As police unleashed streams of icy water Sunday night against Dakota Access pipeline demonstrators, Linda Black Elk, a member of the Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council, was helping care for injured demonstrators. The council estimated that 300 people were treated for injuries, including 26 who were taken to area hospitals.
...
In the midst of the clash, the Medic and Healer Council, which was set up to provide health support to those fighting the pipeline, released a statement pleading with police to halt the use of water cannons. "As medical professionals, we are concerned for the real risk of loss of life due to severe hypothermia under these conditions," the statement said.

The standoff began after pipeline opponents attempted to use a semitruck to remove two charred military vehicles from a bridge. The vehicles were serving as a blockade between the large encampment known as Oceti Sakowin, which has served as a base for blocking the pipeline, and construction sites accessible further down the highway. Beyond the burned-out vehicles stood cement road barriers topped with razor wire, behind which police and other security officials have been standing guard since the end of October. Its presence means a detour for those traveling between the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and the city of Bismarck, including emergency medical services.

In a statement on Sunday, the Morton County Sheriff's Department explained the bridge closing, saying, "North Dakota Department of Transportation has closed the Backwater Bridge due to damage caused after protesters set numerous fires on the bridge October 27th. In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has requested Morton County to prevent protesters from trespassing on [US Army Corps of Engineers] land north of the camp."

You got that? It's totally fine to construct a pipeline on US Army Corps of Engineer land even if the government told you to stop, but if you're a protester trying to protect your water source, you get a rubber bullet shot at your head. Thanks, Obama.

According to the sheriff's department, approximately 400 people were involved in the protest. When asked in a press conference Monday about the use of water cannons, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said, "We don't have water cannons," explaining, "This is just a fire hose."

Oh, ok. Just a fire hose. You're cleared of any accusations of douchebaggery then, i guess.

fnord12: "It was sprayed more as a mist, and we didn't want to get it directly on them, but we wanted to make sure to use it as a measure to help keep everybody safe". How refreshing!


min: Yeah, i bet the twenty-something year old girl who might lose her arm thought that concussion grenade they threw at her was very refreshing, too.

By min | November 22, 2016, 9:11 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




How'd i do? What you were expecting?

It's been said that i don't blog about video games anymore. So here we go:

How can the creators of the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man have been so lazy? Forget all the usual stuff: Pac-Man not turning his body when he goes up and down (so that he eats with the top of his head and his butt), the "dots" being lines, square cherry "vitamin", etc.. Forget the elements that just kill the authenticity: the fact that the ghosts' patterns are complete random garbage compared to the arcade, the fact that they don't turn around when you eat a power pill, etc..

What strikes me now is how the creators didn't take advantage of the freedom that they got by going so far off model. Why not change up the maze shapes? Why not allow two player co-op mode? Add some other weird monsters besides the ghosts? K.C. Munchkin for the Odyssey 2 had moving dots, invisible walls, and a map editor so that your friend could design mazes for you to play. Are you seriously going to let the Odyssey do better than you, Atari?

One thing i do like about the Atari version is that you only get one point for a dot. In the Arcade version it was 10 points. Which is just transparent point inflation; it wasn't like there was anything else that earned you single digit points. I never understood this. Was the idea that if i could get 20,000 points in Pac-Man i'd assume i was better at it than, say, Centipede where i was only able to get 1,000 points? I believe in point standardization. I should be able to hear your high score in Missile Command and immediately know your skill level and be able to compare it to my skill level at Donkey Kong.

Finally, how did the sounds from Atari's Pac-Man become the default video game sounds used in every television show and movie? I can't tell you how many times i've seen kids playing all sorts of video game systems - Nintendos, Gameboys, i think even arcade cabinets - and heard those Atari Pac-Man sounds coming out. Definitely one of my Nerd Rage triggers.


By fnord12 | November 22, 2016, 7:56 AM | Video Games | Link




Who will stand up for the voiceless center?

Why it's Tony Blair! Just in time for Donald Trump to be considering the likes of John Bolton for his administration. Maybe Blair will follow us into another war.

Blair's concern is as much to galvanise what he considers a voiceless centre ground so that it can recover the traction it has lost in recent years to a resurgent populist politics. Details have yet to be finalised, but the main focus will be hard policy answers to issues such as stagnating wages, immigration, anti-elitism and attitudes to globalisation.

Critics claim that Blair personifies the global elite and a political class that has lost the trust of the electorate, and would therefore be a gift to the Brexit cause.

But an ally has argued: "He believes there is a vacuum in the centre of British politics, where no one is articulating the view of millions. He also thinks the centre left needs to recover its radicalism. He thinks Labour has suspended all intellectual thought. He is very focused on policy, not just Europe, partly as a way to legitimise his political presence."

The centre left needs to recover its radicalism? What does that even mean? Go home, ally of Tony Blair. You're drunk.

 
min: Did Tony Blair get fired from his job managing PR for rich Middle Eastern oil field owners? What's with all the old guard coming back into politics? First Sarkozy and now Blair.

And there's certainly nothing more radical left than fighting populists.


By fnord12 | November 22, 2016, 7:34 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




TPM getting stupid

No, Bernie Sanders didn't ask his supporters to "ditch" identity politics.

I read TPM basically from the beginning, starting when it did during the Bush years. But i got pretty disappointed with it after Obama was elected, and things that we used to scream about - drone warfare, NSA spying, etc.. - suddenly became ok (or basically invisible). But i continued to read TPM for the center-left (or partisan-left) perspective and the basic political news coverage and have linked to it frequently. I got interested during the primary when owner Josh Marshall polled his subscription readers (which doesn't include me) and found that a majority supported Bernie. But, interestingly, that didn't result in more positive coverage of Bernie or even (in the beginning, when there was basically a Bernie Blackout) any coverage, really. Except for the occasional click-bait out-of-context Frankenquote article like the one above. I figured that shit would at least stop after the primary, but apparently not.

The framing TPM chose actually gets to what i wrote two posts down, where we're supposedly facing this dichotomy between addressing civil rights issues and helping the ("white") working class. If Bernie is advocating helping the working class, then he must be telling his supporters to "ditch" support for civil rights.



 
min: Ugh TPM. To say it is only getting stupid is incredibly generous. They've been willfully blind and even stauch defenders when it came to Obama's policies on drones and spying and immigration and incarceration and pretty much everything that would have caused them to scream bloody murder had it been a Republican doing the same things. So disappointed in them and Kos and so many others these last 8 years.


By fnord12 | November 21, 2016, 12:58 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




People buy snake oil when they don't have real medicine

The post below talked about how Democrats didn't have an economic message in the general election. Donald Trump did. It's always seemed pretty clear that Trump is a fraud whose promises are meaningless, but his message regarding trade deals and infrastructure spending were sometimes right. I've been having extremely mixed feelings regarding his promise of a $1 trillion economic stimulus. If he actually put forth a decently constructed bill, i could imagine some Democrats supporting it, and i might even want them to. I imagined that it would have a higher ratio of tax cuts to spending projects than i would want, but it seemed like something that would be worth compromising on. The reason i had extremely mixed feelings is that if he managed to pass such a bill, i think the resulting economic improvement would be such that he would probably get re-elected. And with the racism inherent in his campaign and in his cabinet picks, then we really are talking about the choice that i said the Democrats weren't facing (in an intra-party sense) below.

So the "good" news is that Trump's plan seems to already be a sham due to its public/private structure. I'm hesitant to link to these two posts, but here they are. The first is by Ronald Klain, who was an advisor to Hillary Clinton's campaign. The second is by Paul Krugman, who supported Hillary during the primary and went completely psycho on Bernie (he also supported Hillary in 2008 and went almost as psycho on Obama, so i've basically just been ignoring him). So the fact that these are both hardcore Clinton supporters means that their analysis should be taken with a grain of salt, and the fact that both articles came out at the same time suggests a kind of coordinated pre-emptive attack. There's a big division in the Democratic party right now between Dems who think we should oppose everything that Trump does and those that are taking an approach like Bernie, who says that he'll work with Trump on his promises to help the working class while fighting him vigorously on his racist appointments, wall building, registry lists, etc.. But if Trump's infrastructure plan really is just a backdoor to privatization, then Bernie should fight it just as hard as everything else (update: confirmed), and we don't really have a conundrum. Which would be dumb on Trump's part, because if he did pass a legitimate stimulus, i really do think he'd really become the working class hero that he wants to be (at least to whites).

To bring it back to my favorite topic of criticizing the Dems: the fact that Trump's stimulus was using this public/private idea was known during the campaign, too (in fact, i think Krugman and Klain are both reacting to the information from then; i don't think Trump has put out anything new yet). I remember Min pointing it out to me but i didn't pay much attention since i figure whatever Trump said didn't really mean much beyond the messaging (i also stole this post's title from Min). But here we have two economic experts, Klain and Krugman, advising the Clinton campaign. And they see Trump's message about a stimulus, and see that the details are crap. If they had any brains at all, they should have advised Clinton to take a position advocating for a real trillion dollar stimulus - which, by the way, Bernie did during the primary - so that she would have a strong economic message and could take the high ground and attack Trump on the details. Instead they dumped Bernie's message and went with nothing, and Trump was able to sell his snake oil uncontested.


By fnord12 | November 21, 2016, 9:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Anxiety is universal

A lot of the post election talk has been about the "white" working class, and this has set up a kind of false dichotomy where it's said that the Democrats now need to choose between addressing the "economic anxiety" of working class whites (and whether it's really "economic anxiety" or just racism) or continuing to (supposedly) stand up for civil rights. This is a bizarre false choice. No one is talking about addressing "economic anxiety" by building statues to General Lee. Even in a vacuum it should be understood that addressing the income inequality of the past 40 or so years would help everyone, and the Dems wouldn't need to give up their commitment to civil rights in order to do that. Certainly Bernie didn't.

There's also the argument that a blanket effort to improve the economy for working people would very likely help many POC communities disproportionately even if, say, a huge infrastructure spending bill didn't target them specifically. Ta-Nehisi Coates has argued that these kinds of colorblind initiatives aren't sufficient. And i agree with him when it comes to pushing candidates to support these issues. But that's all a tangent to this discussion. It's not like the Democrats are currently in favor of some kind of POC-targeted economic initiative and are being asked to give it up in order to address "white economic anxiety". The Clinton wing of the Democrats had virtually no message at all on working class economics, or even possibly a detrimental message (NAFTA/TPP), and so the choice (for now) is between nothing and a blanket program. (I will note that the Green party does support reparations.)

The "white working class" analysis is also faulty because it ignores the fact that Clinton got significantly fewer votes from African Americans than Obama did, enough alone to more than account for her losses in the Rust Belt states. These are states with significant African American populations and cities that used to have good paying factory jobs which have been devastated. When we talk about "economic anxiety" there is no reason to limit it to whites.

All the above is a set-up for me to pull some quotes from this NYT article interviewing black voters (and non-voters) in Milwaukee:

They admitted that they could not complain too much: Only two of them had voted. But there were no regrets.

"I don't feel bad," Mr. Fleming said, trimming a mustache. "Milwaukee is tired. Both of them were terrible. They never do anything for us anyway."

As Democrats pick through the wreckage of the campaign, one lesson is clear: The election was notable as much for the people who did not show up, as for those who did. Nationally, about half of registered voters did not cast ballots.

Wisconsin, a state that Hillary Clinton had assumed she would win, historically boasts one of the nation's highest rates of voter participation; this year's 68.3 percent turnout was the fifth best among the 50 states. But by local standards, it was a disappointment, the lowest turnout in 16 years. And those no-shows were important. Mr. Trump won the state by just 27,000 voters.

The biggest drop was here in District 15, a stretch of fading wooden homes, sandwich shops and fast-food restaurants that is 84 percent black. In this district, voter turnout declined by 19.5 percent from 2012 figures, according to Neil Albrecht, executive director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission. It is home to some of Milwaukee's poorest residents and, according to a 2015 documentary, "Milwaukee 53206," has one of the nation's highest per-capita incarceration rates.

At Upper Cutz, a bustling barbershop in a green-trimmed wooden house, talk of politics inevitably comes back to one man: Barack Obama. Mr. Obama's elections infused many here with a feeling of connection to national politics they had never before experienced. But their lives have not gotten appreciably better, and sourness has set in.

"We went to the beach," said Maanaan Sabir, 38, owner of the Juice Kitchen, a brightly painted shop a few blocks down West North Avenue, using a metaphor to describe the emotion after Mr. Obama's election. "And then eight years happened."

All four barbers had voted for Mr. Obama. But only two could muster the enthusiasm to vote this time. And even then, it was a sort of protest. One wrote in Mrs. Clinton's Democratic opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The other wrote in himself.

"I'm so numb," said Jahn Toney, 45, who had written in Mr. Sanders. He said no president in his lifetime had done anything to improve the lives of black people, including Mr. Obama, whom he voted for twice. "It's like I should have known this would happen. We're worse off than before."

There are also other reasons why Hillary Clinton herself was not a good messenger, both on economic issues and in general. Her support for her husband's crime and welfare reform bills has not been forgotten.

One exception was Justin Babar, who said he voted for Mr. Trump as a protest against Mrs. Clinton. He blamed her husband's policies for putting him in prison for 20 years.

As for the claims of racism that have dogged Mr. Trump, Mr. Babar wasn't so worried. "It's better than smiling to my face but going behind closed doors and voting against our kids," he said.


By fnord12 | November 21, 2016, 8:55 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Technically it's another postmortem, but...

Read this: Listening to Trump.

Then see this headline:

We're fucked.

From the Intercept:

  • He possesses the same impressive political acumen as Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, sagely explaining "For every blue-collar Democrat we lose in western Pennsylvania, we will pick up two moderate Republicans in the suburbs in Philadelphia, and you can repeat that in Ohio and Illinois and Wisconsin."

  • Schumer's done more than anyone except Bill and Hillary Clinton to intertwine Wall Street and the Democratic Party. He raises millions and millions of dollars from the finance industry, both for himself and for other Democrats. In return, he voted to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 and voted to bail out Wall Street in 2008. In between, he slashed fees paid by banks to the Securities and Exchange Commission to pay for regulatory enforcement, and eviscerated congressional efforts to crack down on rating agencies.

  • Schumer has long been the Democrats' point man in efforts to craft a bipartisan deal to slash taxes on multinational corporations.

  • Schumer voted for the Patriot Act in 2001, and sponsored its predecessor, the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995. During a Senate hearing, Schumer explained that "it's easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you're in the foxhole, it's a very different deal." In certain cases, he said, "most senators" would say "do what you have to do." Schumer also defended the New York Police Department's surveillance of Muslims across the region, which Trump has cited as a national model.

  • In October 2002, Schumer voted for the Iraq War by giving George W. Bush authority to invade. In a speech explaining his vote, Schumer warned of Iraq's imaginary yet "vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons."

  • Schumer voted against Barack Obama's deal to limit Iran's ability to enrich uranium and potentially develop a nuclear weapons program.


By fnord12 | November 18, 2016, 7:15 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Princess Bride Wine

The bottle of wits has begun! Ha!

Too bad i don't really like wine.


By min | November 17, 2016, 10:51 AM | Boooooks & Movies | Link




Your Performance Was Just Barely Adequate

Is apparently not the way you're supposed to respond to people, according to the many admonishments i've received from Fnord12. Not according to my upbringing, mister! You should always make sure a person knows when they suck so that they know they should improve. Clearly. How else would they know??

B.F. Skinner validates me:


Behavior is to be commended only if it is more than merely commendable. If those who work for commendation are productive in no other way, the commendation is wasted.

-- Beyond Freedom & Dignity

So there!


By min | November 17, 2016, 9:27 AM | Boooooks & My stupid life | Link




Stupid Cloud

Link

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple's mobile devices automatically send a user's call history to the company's servers if iCloud is enabled -- but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification.

"You only need to have iCloud itself enabled" for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.

The logs surreptitiously uploaded to Apple contain a list of all calls made and received on an iOS device, complete with phone numbers, dates and times, and duration. They also include missed and bypassed calls. Elcomsoft said Apple retains the data in a user's iCloud account for up to four months, providing a boon to law enforcement who may not be able to obtain the data either from the user's carrier, who may retain the data for only a short period, or from the user's device, if it's encrypted with an unbreakable passcode.

I never liked the idea of the cloud as a storage space. Why would i trust putting my music and my files and my pictures out there to be stored somewhere else? Convenience. I know. Just keep making portable storage devices smaller so i can carry my stuff around all the time. Like my iPod.

In some cases Elcomsoft's tool can help customers access the iCloud even without account credentials, if they can obtain an authentication token for the account from the accountholder's computer, allowing them to get iCloud data without Apple's help. The use of authentication tokens also bypasses two-factor authentication if the accountholder has set this up to prevent a hacker from getting into their account, Elcomsoft notes on its web site.
...
Apple isn't the only company syncing call logs to the cloud. Android phones do it as well, and Windows 10 mobile devices also sync call logs by default with other Windows 10 devices that use the same Microsoft Account. Katalov said there are too many Android smartphone versions to test but his company's research indicates that call log syncing occurs only with Android 6.x and newer versions. As with Apple devices, the only way for a user to disable the call history syncing is to disable syncing completely.

Fnord12 pointed out that "the cloud" is just servers on the internet and all of our passwords are in "the cloud". BWAH! That's not helpful! That doesn't make me feel better!


By min | November 17, 2016, 9:17 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Ok one more

I promised no more postmortems, but part one of Ryan Cooper's contribution looks more at the bigger picture, fleshing out what i said in the previous post about how Obama's inaction was a big contributing factor. (Cooper's second part, linked from the bottom of the first, is more of a direct postmortem.)


By fnord12 | November 16, 2016, 11:19 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Final postmortem

This is from Mike Lux, who worked with the DNC this cycle, and so i think it's heartening that he seems to get it. If this is his bid for a bigger role influencing DNC strategy in the future, he's earned my vote. I'll pull out some quotes, but ofc you should read the whole thing.

One of the things that had me worried throughout the campaign... is that we Democrats made this campaign too much about Trump.. Too many of the HFA ads were focused on how dangerous and outrageous and crude Trump was, when in fact those very characteristics were fundamental to his appeal as a change agent. But it wasn't just the decisions at the top: one of my biggest frustrations when working with our allies who have big Facebook pages, as well as progressive movement leaders in general, was that so much of their energy was around mocking Trump and trashing Trump and responding to every Trump outrage rather than talking about why Democrats and progressives had the better ideas for the country. At the DNC, we tried to change this dynamic by our platform promotion project, but it was hard to get much attention for it.
...as much as it flies in the face of modern campaign thinking, I think we are going to need to move away from candidates being so carefully scripted and lacking in spontaneity...[fnord: that's the modern thinking?]
The Republican suburban women strategy failed...

Especially painful given that so much of our messaging, including the campaign's closing argument ads and speeches in the last week of the campaign, were geared to suburban moderate women. HFA softened Hillary's message, losing any populist issue edge as we focused on the dangers and sexism of Trump, and we talked about bringing everyone together. Trump's closing message, by contrast, while an anti-Semitic dog whistle to his alt-right base, was also perfectly targeted to white working class swing voters, hammering on trade and the hardship they have felt in the last 10 years and giving him the edge in Rust Belt states he needed to win this race. [fnord: the ad was directly cribbed from a Sanders ad, with added images of evil Jewish bankers]

We have to accept the fact as a party that the partisanship in this country has become so deeply ingrained that no matter how horrible the Republican candidate is, we are just never going to pick up very many Republican votes... We need to understand as well that with upper-middle class Republicans almost completely off the table for us, that when we go looking for swing voters, they will come mostly from working class households (including in rural areas, by the way, where both Bill Clinton and Obama won far more votes than Hillary did) where the best message is actually the same kind of populist economics that fires up the Democratic base. Conventional wisdom says we have to pick between the base and swing voters, but that conventional wisdom is dead wrong.

Trump got almost the exact margin with white people that Romney had the election before, 21 for Trump vs 20 for Romney. But our margin was seven points less with African-Americans; eight points less with Latinos(!); 11 points less with Asian-Americans; five points less with young voters; 18 points less with voters who have a different religion than Christian or Jewish; ten points less with unmarried voters; and five points less even with registered Democrats. Our margin among poor people dropped 25 fricking points.
I would add as well that we didn't do a good job speaking to and motivating Bernie voters. Now speaking of blame games, there's a lot of Democrats who are saying it is the Bernie movement's fault that we lost- that Bernie stayed in too long and/or ran too tough a race, that Stein and Johnson protest votes did us in, etc. My view is that such thinking is not constructive if we want to look forward and figure out how to win: our party and our candidates need to win over voters, rather than blaming them for not coming our way. The polling I saw consistently showed that about 25% of Bernie voters were either undecided, thinking of a protest vote, or not sure whether they would vote at all, and Hillary's overall messaging (with some exceptions) was not designed to appeal to those voters- again, it seemed the campaign was forever in search of those Republican women in the suburbs, not the more populist Bernie voters.

Based on who he is, Lux is talking entirely in terms of messaging, whereas i think equal parts of the problem were 1) the past 8 years of very little real change (and yes, Republican obstructionism played a part in that, but it's not an excuse) and 2) Hillary Clinton not being a credible messenger regardless of which policies of Bernie's she belatedly and half-heartedly adopted.

The good news / silver lining is the in-progress attempted takeover of the local Democratic parties and the DNC by Bernie supporters.


By fnord12 | November 15, 2016, 10:04 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Trolling trolls

I know it's not the top political issue on anyone's mind right now, but no website should have to deal with lazy, incorrectly targeted DMCA takedown notices.


By fnord12 | November 15, 2016, 7:35 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Unions not sure

Politico:

Organized labor is searching for answers after union households failed to turn out for Hillary Clinton despite a massive voter mobilization effort -- a sharp departure from decades of union support for Democratic presidential candidates.

The assumption is that Donald Trump's positions on trade resonated strongly with union members, particularly those in blue-collar jobs. But union leaders are looking at exit polls for a deeper dive into the reasons.

Nationally, Clinton outperformed Trump among union households by just 8 percent, the smallest Democratic advantage since Walter Mondale's failed campaign against Ronald Reagan in 1984. For a more recent perspective, President Barack Obama won union households by 18 percent in 2012.

Clinton's poor performance among union households appeared to especially damage her in crucial Midwestern states.

Love this:

One person familiar with labor's ground game speculated the election was more of a "personality contest," adding, "I would argue that this was not an election that was won or lost on issues and policies."

Either that or maybe Clinton had to be cajoled into (pretending to) being opposed to TPP, continued to talk about how great her husband's NAFTA is, and generally had no message for the working class (let alone the symbolism of not even visiting states like Wisconsin). She allowed Trump to make an unopposed bid for their votes.

Our personal bogeywoman, Randi Weingarten, gets into the right area but manages to twist things around and learn the exact opposite lesson:

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said Trump appealed to some union households with blunt attacks on trade deals, while Clinton used "more nuanced" language. Clinton confronted the same sort of populist rhetoric during her primary election battle with Bernie Sanders. While Sanders ultimately joined hands with Clinton, Weingarten said, "any tough campaign is going to hurt."

Maybe instead of blaming him for daring to challenge Dear Leader, you could have actually endorsed the candidate that had the populist rhetoric that your members found appealing or, failing that, adopted his message and policies.


By fnord12 | November 11, 2016, 7:56 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




More postmortems

Jonathan Tasini. Krystal Ball. Cory Doctorow. Jim Newell.


By fnord12 | November 10, 2016, 8:14 AM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Not electable

Some postmortems from Glenn Greenwald and Thomas Frank.


By fnord12 | November 9, 2016, 6:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Link




Recap 75

Head Games


By min | November 1, 2016, 3:53 PM | D&D | Link




Spooks Arrrghathon

Just some of the movies from our horror marathons this month:

That font's a little weird.  I keep wondering what the Arrrgh Nation is.

Blood From The Mummy's Tomb should have been called Boobs From The Not A Mummy's Tomb.


Blood From The Mummy's Tomb was a total lie. There was no mummy. And the Return of the Vampire was a total unforced error. They could have prevented the vampire's return with hardly any extra effort on their part. They actually created a circumstance that made his return pretty inevitable. *shakes head*

By fnord12 | October 31, 2016, 10:41 AM | Music & My stupid life | Link




No Chinaman

Cause clearly, if one appears in your detective story, everyone would know right away who committed the crime. Der.

Ronald Knox's 10 Commandments of Detective Fiction

Also, #8 - i'm looking at you, Agatha Christie! *shakes fist*

h/t wnkr

By min | October 26, 2016, 11:08 AM | Boooooks | Link




It's not you, it's... not me. It's the Inhumans.

Justin Zyduck at MightyGodKing comes to the conclusion that Marvel's output may or may not be any good but the real issue is it's just not for him anymore. I bounced back and forth on this quite a bit myself before i decided to stop following Marvel. Since "no good" or "just not for me" ends the same way in terms of my personal collecting, it was really a moot question. But Zyduck had me leaning towards the latter.

But then i read Paul O'Brien's review of (heh) Civil War II: X-Men, or, as he puts it (double heh) Event Crossover: Non-participating Series. (As an aside, i actually thought World War Hulk: X-Men was pretty good; a better introduction to the new young X-characters than i'd seen anywhere else.) And in that review he gets to a larger point about the fact that Marvel keeps trying to make the Inhumans "happen" even though it clearly isn't going to:

But we long since passed the point where it was transparently clear that the Inhumans weren't catching on and where the main question came to be how long Marvel would drag this out. The decision to build their summer crossover around the Inhumans - and then see it squashed flat by DC Rebirth - would be the last straw for some publishers. But then lead-in times mean that major directional changes for the Marvel Universe take an age to feed through, so we're stuck with the bastards for the foreseeable future whether we like them or not, and the X-Men are heading for an extended crossover whose main - perhaps exclusive - interest lies in whether it will be used to finally draw a line under the whole fiasco.

And it's like, oh yeah, that's why i got sick of Marvel. Certainly not the focus on diversity, which i applaud. A lot of the writing and art was bad, but hey, i'm working through 1993 on my project right now, and nothing's worse than that. The overreliance on perpetual line-wide crossovers? See again 1993. Combine those two things with modern decompression and it's more of a problem, granted. But my investment in the Marvel universe was so ingrained that i don't think that alone would have been enough. The breaking factor for me was the disregard for continuity, especially when it was obvious that the continuity changes were to reflect the cinematic universe rather than because someone had a great idea that just couldn't be told in current continuity.

I don't know why i'm beating this dead horse at this late date anyway, but Zyduck and O'Brien's posts converged in my head. And i admit to a perverse and rude satisfaction in seeing Marvel's attempts to promote the Inhumans failing. I don't know why. I'm not a huge X-Men fan and i never got as outraged about Marvel downplaying the X-Men as others did. Maybe it's the way the Inhumans took over the SHIELD TV show; made me never want to see an Inhuman again.


So sick of inhumans in my SHIELD tv show. I just want spy vs spy with a dabble of super powers thrown in.

I could hear Paul O'Brien's voice in my head as i read his quote. That's just weird.

By fnord12 | October 25, 2016, 9:46 AM | Comics | Link



No need to stop here. There's plenty more SuperMegaMonkey where that came from.