Friday, September 30, 2016

Another Tweet

Today's Keith

It gets a little off into the weeds, but I'll take a Franz von Papen reference any day because it makes me go look it up and learn something new. 

Today's Tweet

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Just Fucking Do It

A Trump Story



The anecdote is a powerful illustration for your narrative, although it can be a very misleading thing in direct debate (see Logical Fallacy - Anecdote).  But when the stories are common to the point of being legion, there's more than some probability that we've got a real problem.   And these stories are so common, even I know a guy who did some sub-contracting on The Taj Mahal, and got fucked over by Donald Trump.

Trump is the perfect example of a business ethic that says "I get to promise you whatever it takes to make the deal, but when it comes to paying the invoices that I contracted for, I intend to do only what my lawyers can't keep the law from forcing me to do at gunpoint."

When the guys at the top have their spats, and it gets expensive, and they need money to settle - guess who gets squeezed?

I worked with guys like Trump my whole career.  I watched two of the best companies ever get swamped by the shit that follows these malignant slugs like plague follows rats.

This Trump guy is weak and cheap - he has no soul and no honor.

It Starts With Entitlement


That was one very short hop away from Trump declaring himself a God-Annointed Sovereign.

Eugenics, anyone? 

Today's Keith


It really is Garbage In, Garbage Out.  If Repubs want a better GOP, they're gonna need a whole buncha better voters.

My Blogiversary

A Tweet



"When they go low, we go high."  And ya know - the Obama's are just better people than most.  Cuz me (and, I think, Luther) would most likely interpret that like this: "you go at my knees and I'm coming back for your fucking head". 

Which is kinda how it works out - the way FLOTUS does it anyway.  Glad I'm on her side.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Geez, These Kids

TPM:
Eric Trump on Wednesday joined Donald Trump's surrogates in applauding the Republican nominee for not bringing up Bill Clinton's sex scandals during the Monday debate, even saying that the moment is "something I’ll always remember."
"Gee - I'll always remember that time on national primetime TV, seen by 70 million Americans plus maybe twice that many around the world - I'll remember my dad deciding not to be a giant gold-plated monument to Total Douchenozzlery" .

First time for everything, I guess.  But indeed, Eric , how proud you must be - as are we all, of course.



And if you open that window just a bit, you can hear me rolling my eyes so hard I can see what's left of my brain after having to acknowledge that even people like Donald Trump are allowed to breed. 

A Quickie


hat tip = Tweeter @djred678

Keith Olbermann

Who is Carter Page?


Today's Gotcha

What They Say



Repubs - the ones with most of the money and power - love to lead the bitch session about Dems and Libruls who're busy spending "Other People's Money".  What they always conveniently neglect to mention is that the reason it's "your money" is that they don't contribute much at all, and they're always busy pimping us into helping them pay even less while getting a bigger and bigger share of the benefits.

All the little grey areas and loopholes in our ridiculous Tax Code; an economy increasingly tilted in favor of wealthy people - none of this happens if we stop allowing guys like Donald Trump to play us for suckers.  

   

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

You Can Quote Me

Trump is that guy - kind of a passing acquaintance - who just shows up at the friendly neighborhood poker game, where he mooches everybody's beer, he bets with IOUs, and he has to be reminded to ante up every.fucking.hand.
--mike

Today's Chart


And for anybody still insisting on being hung up on the "Yeah, but she's still lying so it's OK for me to sit here doing nothing but pining over Bernie", spare me the purity crap.

Governments lie. Politicians lie. Insurance Salemen lie. Cops lie. Your wife and kids lie.

You lie.

The point is that we can sift thru it; we can make a fairly accurate determination as to what the lie seems to be about vs what the lie is really about; we can test the statements in various ways to assign values to the lies and the liars - we can, to an extent, quantify the rhetoric. We can then put all this on a spectrum, and we come up with an assessment - which gives us reasonable rationale for flipping a coin or just going with your gut feeling.

Yeah, hey, I'm funny.  But, there are facts here. 

Fact 1: 
Hillary lies a little less than 30% of the time, while Trump lies more than 65% of the time. 

Fact 2: 
Hillary makes true statements more than 50% of the time, while Trump makes true statements less than 20% of the time.

Fact 3: 
Hillary tells the truth more than twice as often as Trump, while Trump lies more than twice as often as Hillary.

Fact 4: 
More is more, and less is less.

Look, I don't really know, but I hafta say this again - Hillary's been raked over the coals for 25 years, and she's standing tall.  Trump spent 90 minutes on stage with her last nite, and he's a mass of welts and bloody blisters today.

Political Reality

From Vox:
Donald Trump is great at doing the seemingly unimaginable. He won the Republican nomination over 15 other potential nominees who looked better on paper, with a thin ground game, little cash on hand, and not much buoying him in the early going beyond his celebrity. On that level, maybe he’s a political savant?
But when he’s asked to do something that’s fairly standard campaign ritual — host a political convention, say, or compete in a debate — he very rarely pulls it off. He’s just not that good at the basics of politics, and that only underscores how flimsy and empty most of his policy proposals are.
And if there’s one big takeaway I have from his first presidential debate against Hillary Clinton, it’s that Trump failed almost as much as a performer as he did a candidate.
Turns out that real live politics is just not the same as hosting a game show.

Attempting A Modified Dahmer Defense

Trump: 
Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials, some of it said in entertainment, somebody who's been very vicious to me, Rosie O'Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree she deserves it, and nobody feels sorry for her. I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice, but she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue.
The guy is a 6-year-old who throws himself on the floor kicking and screaming if you don't tell him what a good little boy he's been because he didn't take a shit on the dining room rug and then wipe his ass with the cat. 

Today's Tweet

All That Blow

Sounds like pretty much every party I went to in the late 70s.

All That Winning

Monday, September 26, 2016

John Oliver

Raisins - fucking epic is all this is.

Sometimes A Troll


I gotta say - I expected a push-back that was more in line with the usual rabid attacks from the fetishists.  

Still early I guess - could be a lot more coming when everybody starts getting home from work tonite(?)

I'll update if anything interesting happens.

Today's Keith


Go to Olbermann's GQ Video page to see the other stuff too.

Good Cop, Bad Cop (updated 9-27)


There's a good reason Invisibility is considered the ultimate super power.  It removes all possibility of being held to account.  If there's no evidence, ie: if nobody can see what you're doing, there's no way to hold you responsible for what you've done.

So WTF, Danville cops?



I called the Danville (Virginia) Police Dept to ask for comment, and left a message. I'll try to update as soon as possible.

hat tip = FB friends MM-M & VW-E


Update:

Seems more or less reasonable to me - the local citizens' bunch will continue to keep on eye on this stuff.  Way to go, guys.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Now We're Talkin'

Go get 'em, Dems.

HuffPo:
WASHINGTON ― Democrats are finally paying attention to state politics.
Over the past few years, major donors, national Democrats, the White House and state officials have begun organizing to win back state houses that have been dominated by Republicans since 2010.
And even as the presidential race tightens nationally, Democrats are increasingly confident the party will be able flip a significant number of state legislative chambers, riding a wave of disgust with GOP nominee Donald Trump. At least 14 state House or Senate chambers are well within reach, according to a Democratic memo circulated this week.
You can't elect a president and expect everything to be suddenly peachy.  We put Obama in the White House and it's like we just left him there, thinking he'd do what we elected him to do with no further help from us, ignoring the fact that the Repubs really were turning out to be as shitty as some were trying to tell us they were.

I'll take my share of the hit on that one - I spent a good 18 months calling the guy President Lawn Chair because I was pissed that he bailed on the Public Option without even trying, and made no move on Gitmo etc.  Criticism may have been warranted, but what we shoulda been doing is working to send him the support he needed in the various legislatures - national and state and local.

My bad.

Hopefully, that pendulum could be starting to swing back in favor of an honest majority.


Stay together
Work together
Get shit done

Today's Pix

(click the pic to enbiggen)












Today's Tweet

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Today's Deep Tho't

You can pray all you want, but if you expect that mountain to move, you'd best be figurin' out how carry some fuckin' rocks.
--mike


Today's Tweet



Is it possible that PBS is trying to make a comeback?

Yesterday's Podcast

Doin' the Lord's work.

My big take-away today - stop allowing the conversation to get hung up on the controversy of what Colin Kaepernick is doing, and insist the discussion stay focused on the reason he's doing what he's doing.




Friday, September 23, 2016

Today's Tweet

I Wonder

A while back, Donald Trump got some pretty good play by suggesting that if NATO allies don't pony up on their fair share, then maybe USAmerica Inc isn't required to come thru on its Article 5 commitments.

So, maybe someone should ask Mr Trump:  

  • If American companies doing business overseas haven't paid their fair share of taxes in the US, shouldn't we make sure the US Military isn't used to protect their interests on foreign soil?
  • Shouldn't they have to pay a tax for the maintenance and operations of the facilities at Ports Of Entry?
  • Shouldn't they be considered unworthy of police and fire protection here at home?  
  • Should they be allowed access to public roadways?
  • How about Water and Sewer?
  • Whenever they hire somebody, shouldn't they be required to pay a requisite amount to a school district to reimburse those schools for having educated those new employees for them?
If corporations are people (and if this isn't just one big Fuck-You-If-You-Ain't-Got-The-Juice proposition), then why do they get to play by a different set of rules?

It's a wonderment.

Today's Keith

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ignoring History


That woman is not saying anything we don't hear almost every day.  So I guess it's time for this one again:

Alex Nails It


Something about "the mouths of babes" maybe?

Your God Can Blow Me

Radical Christian shit is no better than radical Islamic shit, which is no better than radical Judaic shit or radical Hindi shit or or or.


Take away our belief in Imaginary Friends, and we take away that guy's power to get us to do stoopid things that he thinks our imaginary friend is commanding us to do.

 

Push for reasoning and logic and evidence, and bit by bit, we start to dismantle one of the main structural rationalizations for making people suffer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Today's Tweet

Today's Pix










Tim Wise


Make the connections between Racism, Homophobia, Xenophobia, Misogyny, etc.  There're reasons we encounter these things (often) in the same places, and just as often expressed by the same people.

A take-away for me: It must really suck for you to have been told your whole life that the world belongs to you and you get to take whatever you want from it, only to find out that you were lied to, that the world is not really that way, and you won't be getting every little thing after all.

Today's Keith

Find Keith's new home at GQ


BTW - to reiterate - what Trump is doing comes under the heading of Stochastic Terrorism.

It's the shitty little thing that despots are always pulling - the dog whistle calling to the Lone Wolf who'll interpret it to mean he should do something the Strong Man's id wants to make happen while maintaining the necessary deniability.

It's the lowest political dirty trick ever.

And Keith's absolutely right to recall Hillary doing basically the same thing - although I hafta give her props for backing it off right away, which means to me that she may have stumbled into it not recognizing at the moment that it'd be taken the wrong way.  Point being, she fucked up; she owned the fuck up; she learned not to do it again.

And so to Trump - once can be an anomaly; twice could certainly be coincidence - but that second time, when it's Donald Trump, is just as likely to reveal a deliberate pattern.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Seth

Seth Myers, Samantha Bee and John Oliver are the 4th estate now

I ❤️ Elizabeth Warren


But what we really need to do is de-regulate big business - to help the little guy make his $200,000,000 in stock options.

However Bad You Think He Is

Sam Bee

Today's Keith

Monday, September 19, 2016

Extrapolated



All of the guns in USAmerica Inc are owned by 22% of the total Adult Population of USAmerica Inc.

78% of the Adult Population is being told what we can and can't do about guns and gun violence and gun-related problems by the other 22%.

Gettin' pretty fucking tired of this Minority Rule bullshit.

Trump's Guy

Sorry - but I had to.  I feel a need to check in on these guys once in a while just to see for myself.  So if I have to do it, then so do you. I really don't like going there alone.



It doesn't get better.  It's been getting worse for quite a while.  Even if it's mostly just an act for Alex Jones, some otherwise normal people are taking too much of this shit way too seriously. 

And just to reiterate - this is Trump's guy. Trump has said as much. I have some Facebook pals, known to be Trump voters, who parrot the Alex Jones talking points almost verbatim when they try to engage with me.  They don't generally get this het up about it, but the signs of Political Dementia are there in a pretty big way.

Smile When You Say That

Trae Crowder

Today's GIF

Tho't I should give you a heads up on this one just in case.


This one is NSFW

Today's Tweet

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Gary Johnson Strikes Again

Another WTF moment on the air:


"...just grateful that nobody got hurt..."?

How does anyone justify even considering voting for a guy with that much empty space in his head?

Today's Tweet

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Today's Keith

Revisiting The Prisoner's Dilemma

(keep Donald Trump's behavior in mind as you read thru this)

From +Plus magazine (this is the whole post):

Survival of the nicest?

One of the most puzzling aspects of human behaviour is cooperation, in situations where backstabbing and selfishness would seem to be more rewarding. From the point of view of evolutionary theory, the very existence of altruism and cooperation appear mysterious. The mechanics of evolution seem to imply that rugged competition is the order of the day; that, given an opportunity to benefit by cheating someone, or by defaulting on a deal, we will inevitably do so. Surely to do otherwise would mean relegation to the sidelines of the evolutionary game - and in that game, demotion means extinction.
In fact, as even the most cynical observer must admit, cooperation is rife in human society. Even if you sometimes despair of human nature, you must admit that the "dog-eat-dog" scenario conjured up by the phrase "survival of the fittest" doesn't bear much resemblance to life as we know it. So it must be that, from a purely selfinterested point of view, cooperation can actually be good for us.
Solitary confinement
Solitary confinement
To highlight this puzzle, consider the Prisoner's Dilemma, described in detail in Adam Smith and the invisible hand in Issue 14 of Plus. To summarise, this very famous paradox in Game Theory describes two people suspected of being accomplices in a crime. They are held prisoner in separate, non-communicating cells. The police visit each prisoner, and tell both that if neither confesses, each will be sentenced to two years in jail. However, if only one prisoner confesses, implicating the other, the one who confesses will get off scot-free as a reward, and the other, who didn't confess, will receive a punitive sentence of seven years. If each confesses and implicates the other, both will be sentenced to three years.
What should a prisoner do in this situation? Suppose the other prisoner doesn't confess. Then the best course of action is to confess, and go free. Even if the other prisoner does confess, it will be better to have done likewise - at least the sentence will be lower. Both prisoners will reason thus, so both will confess and end up serving sentences of five years - even though, if both had remained silent, both would have served sentences of only three years.
Second-guessing
Second-guessing
If you think this dilemma is very far from your everyday life - after all, you are lawabiding and will never be thrown in jail! - think again. Every time you make a bargain, you are potentially facing the prisoner's dilemma. What is to stop you - or, more to the point, the person you are making the bargain with - from defaulting? Surely both of you will be tempted by the prospect of getting something for nothing, and afraid that if you are honest the other person won't be, and you'll get landed with the so-called "sucker's payoff" - getting nothing for something? It's all very well to say that "honesty is the best policy" but surely this is a luxury that only the civilised and comparatively rich can afford?
Well, the good news is that we are not dependent on the benevolence of others, as the prisoner's dilemma would seem to suggest. In fact, cooperation can spontaneously break out even among fundamentally selfish agents - provided you assume that people meet each other more than once, and can remember what the other person did last time they tried to strike a bargain.
To explore this sort of sitution, political scientist Robert Axelrod invented the game of "Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma" - Prisoner's Dilemma played repeatedly against the same opponent - and set up a tournament, inviting academics from all over the world to devise strategies. First Axelrod compared various strategies by pairing them and seeing who won; then he held a meta-tournament, in which there were many agents, each with its own strategy which it was allowed to modify in response to what was going on around it, for example if it saw that other agents had more successful strategies.
Over the long term, Axelrod discovered that selfish strategies tended to do very badly, as did foolishly generous strategies. Defecting encouraged others to defect; not punishing others for defecting only encouraged them to do so again. One of the most successful and stable (in other words, successful against many different strategies and in many different environments) was "Tit for Tat". This strategy involves cooperating the first time you meet another agent, and after that always repeating your opponent's last move. So if your opponent defaults on one turn, you punish them by defaulting on the next; if they cooperate on one turn, you reward them by cooperating on the next.
A slightly better strategy - because it avoids the possibility of getting trapped into long cycles of retaliation - is "Tit for Tat with forgiveness". This is Tit for Tat with a small randomised possibility of forgiving a defaulter by cooperating anyway. Forgiveness is particularly helpful if you introduce the possibility of misinformation into the game - that is, if moves are sometimes randomly misreported.
The submitted strategies varied in many ways - initial hostility, tendency to forgive or retaliate, complexity, how much past behaviour they took into account, and so on. No one strategy will always be best because how a strategy does depends on who the other players are - if you're playing against mugs, you may as well be a freeloader, and if you're playing against sharks, you may as well get your retaliation in first! And research into human behaviour is ongoing, with biologists, economists and mathematicians studying phenomena such as spiteful behaviour, altruism, and kin selection (generosity between close relatives, which is evolutionarily useful since their genes are similar). But Tit for Tat did well or best in Axelrod's tournament against very many different opponents - showing how cooperation could evolve using only the selfish mechanisms of natural selection.
That yellow-hilited paragraph sounds a little like Trump, especially in light of his recent "birtherism pivot", but other than the misinformation bit, has Trump ever shown the slightest inclination to forgive anybody but himself for anything?  The guy has said he's never even asked God to forgive him. 

Gotta remember one fairly important aspect of this mess. It's all well and good when we're talking about real estate deals and bargaining for some financial leverage with one of your business cronies, but it takes on a slightly different tinge when you throw in actual military options that include Nuclear Weapons.

Tit For Tat, motherfucker.  This Trump guy gets elected, and we're one randomly perceived insult on a bad hair day away from World War III.

Carlin 1971

Today's Podcast


Deplorables, Trump's Childcare Trickle Down Plan, The Worst Birther Day Ever for the media.


As always, be sure to throw 'em a little tip by going to Amazon thru their website link.




Today's Tweet

The entire event promoting his hotel ― carried in it's entirety by all three cable news channels ― lasted more than 30 minutes. Trump proceeded to spend approximately 30 seconds blaming Hillary Clinton for inspiring his quest to find Obama’s birth certificate.
So Trump did the usual politician thing - at least, the usual Trump thing, by inviting the inference that Hillary caused the problem, so he had to fix it.  It's classic - the arsonist taking credit for pulling the fire alarm.

It really was just a free ad for Trump's hotel in DC.  The thing went on for 30 minutes and there was nothing but a tour of the hotel and some pander-fawning of Medal Recipients, ending with Trump spending 30 seconds "renouncing" his birtherism bullshit. 




Finally - FINALLY - the Press Poodles are starting to get a little hip to the simple fact that they actually are the suckers Trump is playing them for, and that some of us have been trying to tell 'em about for years.

And yet, The Trump Scampaign® marches on.

Fun Facts: 
The cheapest room at the Trump DC hotel is almost $400 a night
The Penthouse is rumored to go for $100,000 per night, with a 5-night minimum
Of course, if you have to ask how much it costs, then you can't afford it anyway - so fuck off, loser.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Meet-N-Greet

America's youth should be encouraged to contact and engage with the people who want to run the joint. That way, they can get a sense of what those people are trying to do and help us all gain a deeper understanding of just how great the good ones are...


...and how terrifying the bad ones can be.


Always trust kids and dogs when it comes to dickhead detection - they are absolutely unerring.

Sustainability, Bitches

Gotta have a little balance.

Logical Fallacy Illustrated