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Showing posts from 2017

Manufactured Illiteracy

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We hear it everywhere - "HyperPartisanship" and "The polarizing effect of everything having become over-politicized".
But the piece cited below points out how we're not "over-politicized" at all - just the opposite.
This is all about freezing as many of us in the middle as possible by doing whatever it takes to get a majority of us to react with, "Politics is fucked up - leave me out of it - I don't want anything to do with it cuz both sides are just as bad" and blah blah blah.
Billions of dollars are spent every year on advertising - commercial or political or the 24/7 GOP Pimpworks known as DumFux News. The people making the decisions to spend those billions are not stoopid people, and they don't spend that kinda money on something that doesn't work.

This thing is chock full of juicy nuggets.

Henry Giroux via Salon:

The reality of Trump’s election may be the most momentous development of the age because of its enormity and the shock …

Senator Franken

Today's Quote

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“If every trace of any single religion were wiped out and nothing were passed on, it would never be created exactly that way again. There might be some other nonsense in its place, but not that exact nonsense. If all of science were wiped out, it would still be true and someone would find a way to figure it all out again.”

Penn Jillette, God, No! Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales

Today's Tweet

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Quite possibly the best pair of T-Shirts i have ever seen pic.twitter.com/40R3K6DmjA — Brad (@MovesLikeZagger) June 22, 2017

Well Well

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Vox:

A majority of Americans, 51 percent, have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act, the law’s highest mark ever in the seven-year tracking poll; 41 percent said they had an unfavorable view.
--and--

Half of Americans also said they thought they would be better off if Obamacare remained the law of the land, versus 36 percent who thought they would be better off under the Republican bill.

I'll make one radical assumption by saying: Maybe a bunch of the Leftie Purists managed to get their heads outa their asses long enough to stop insisting that "fucked over completely" is somehow better than "fucked over a little (or even a lot)".

The main thing here, Lefties, is that you don't get to prescribe punishment for me in order to pressure me into serving your political goals.
There is nothing good about losing what we gained with Obamacare because it just doesn't go far enough to satisfy your pixie-dusted dreams of unicorns and universality.
There is no silver…

Rachel

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Rachel Maddow via Stitcher (audio only) - the A Block is good and long and ties things together pretty well:

Obama Speaks

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Obama's remarks on the AHCA via Facebook:

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.



Try Not To Forget

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In all the political brouhaha, especially the Blue Team vs Red Team tribal bullshit, and even more especially the Both-Sides bullshit, there's something that needs to be kept in mind here:

Rage from the right end of the political spectrum gave us the KKK, Atlas Shrugged and Dick Nixon.
Rage from the left gave us Molly IvinsSocial Security and the Weekend.

Today's Tweet

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Senator Whitehouse brings it.

Wow. "We're not stupid!" That's what a Republican staffer told a reporter about why they've kept their health care bill secret. pic.twitter.com/hxTuC8PMK1 — Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) June 21, 2017

Today's Deep Thought

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Not knowing how much there is to know leads to the false belief that you know more than you do,  and to the desire to prove it in public.

Keith

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To tape or not to tape.



Today's Charlie

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Charlie Pierce at Esquire:

I try. Lord knows how I try. I try to maintain a certain equilibrium about all of my fellow citizens. We're all in this great democratic experiment together, after all. I think we have an obligation as a self-governing democratic republic to make government work best for all our people. I believe in the idea of a political commonwealth, and in the political commons to which we all have a right and in which we all have a stake. Economic anxiety in de-industrialized America is very real and it is a real danger to all of what we can achieve together. It is now, and it was in 1980, when I drove from Youngstown to Toledo to Flint to Grand Rapids as we wound into the election that brought us Ronald Reagan.

(So, by the way, is the intractable poverty of people, working class and otherwise, who are not white.)

So, I try. Lord knows how I try.

But what am I supposed to do when so many of my fellow citizens guzzle snake oil by the gallon and call it champagne?
I think …

AHCA

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75% of us are on record saying we don't want ACA repealed. We want it fixed and strengthened.

What's the big bugbear according to Business "conservatives"?  Uncertainty.  

You really can't make a case that AHCA does anything at all to make Americans feel more certain. Especially the way the Repubs are going about it.

But, hey at least they've given us a chance to see it before they jam it up our collective ass. 

The AHCA was released today - in all it's 142 page glory.



I haven't slogged all the way thru it yet, but so far, it's a little like the old bit about watching the original Star Trek - everybody knows the young guy you don't recognize (usually a Red Shirt) will be dead before the opening credits.  And 4 or 5 minutes after that first commercial, you'll know the gist of the story because there's only a handful of themes (kinda like this little blog here), and it always works out just fine for the Executive Elite (not at all like this l…

Is It Ever Enough

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The president has a sworn duty to protect the United States. We have been attacked, folks. Trump is failing his fundamental responsibility. pic.twitter.com/1nsQnOavAb — Robert Reich (@RBReich) June 22, 2017

I recall an awful lotta noise from the Repub side about how the first duty of POTUS is to keep us safe - inviting the inference (and sometimes raving loudly) that Obama wasn't doing that. Which of course means they were using that bullshit criticism trying to reclaim the National Security issue.

And btw - I'm still hearing "Yeah, but the Democrats". A lot. And I get the feeling that's because people seem to want the Dems to get after those rotten ol' Repubs, and say some strong things in strong language, and take 'em down no matter what.

In other words, we want the Dems to start acting like Repubs, while we sit back and snipe about how "They're all the same" and "Both Sides Do It" and "two sides of the same coin" and bla…

Seems Pretty Clear

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WaPo:

President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords.

One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City, the nation’s largest subsidized housing complex. Trump’s 4 percent stake in the Brooklyn complex earned him at least $5 million between January of last year and April 15, according to his recent financial disclosure.

Trump’s business empire intersects with government in countless ways, from taxation to permitting to the issuing of patents, but the housing subsidy is one of the clearest examples of the conflicts experts have predicted. While there is no indication that Trump himself was involved in the decision, it is nonetheless a stark illustration of how his financial interests can directly rise or fall on the policies of his adm…

Today's Tweet

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I AM IN TEARS pic.twitter.com/VUX8OcM4eo — Chanel #45 (@monicamenzeI) June 19, 2017


And a reminder of what we're losing:


President Obama spoke truth last year about trashy trump & his words are more relevant today than ever before. đŸ‡ºđŸ‡¸pic.twitter.com/64MPKWUbWf — Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) June 19, 2017

Down We Go

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CNN:

The two agencies that protect the country's coast lines and its residents, NOAA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are still without leaders -- positions that must be appointed by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate.

"That should scare the hell out of everybody," retired US Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré told CNN. "These positions help save lives."

Honoré knows all too well the value that leadership plays during a crisis, as he commanded Joint Task Force Katrina. He coordinated military relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
--and--
But according to HonorĂ©, things could be anything but orderly. "These operations will not function as they should with temporary people doing the jobs." 
"Just look back to Hurricane Katrina to see how important leadership was. If someone is slow in making decisions it can be costly -- imagine having no one at all," HonorĂ© said, referring to the criticism and eventual resigna…

Keith

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45* is self-destructing.


Today's Tech Tip

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Weeks of trouble-shooting your code can save you hours of planning.

Today's Wonderment

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David Brooks - NYT:

He is thus the all-time record-holder of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the phenomenon in which the incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence. Trump thought he’d be celebrated for firing James Comey. He thought his press coverage would grow wildly positive once he won the nomination. He is perpetually surprised because reality does not comport with his fantasies.
--and--

Our institutions depend on people who have enough engraved character traits to fulfill their assigned duties. But there is perpetually less to Trump than it appears. When we analyze a president’s utterances we tend to assume that there is some substantive process behind the words, that it’s part of some strategic intent.

But Trump’s statements don’t necessarily come from anywhere, lead anywhere or have a permanent reality beyond his wish to be liked at any given instant.
As driftglass is consistently pointing out for us, David Brooks is the Poodliest of all the Pundit Poodles,…

Today's Tweet

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When you post a controversial tweet pic.twitter.com/O3AyICAqTz — Gautam Trivedi (@Gotham3) June 17, 2017

Putting Up With It

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From Elle:

HARRIS: You referred to a longstanding DOJ policy. Can you tell us what policy it is you're talking about?

SESSIONS: Well, I think most cabinet people, as the witnesses, uh, you had before you earlier, those individuals declined to comment. Because we're all about conversations with the President —

HARRIS: Sir, I'm just asking you about the DOJ policy you referred to.

SESSIONS: — a longstanding policy that goes beyond just the Attorney General.

Every American, when listening to (mostly) GOP pus-brains who can't quite figure out how to construct the next several lies in order to maintain the false reality they created with that first fucking lie:

Today's Pix

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Give It Up

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The Press Poodles (and way too many politicians and their constituents) are still taking everything 45* says as something deserving of the kind of respect most of us have paid to everything every POTUS has said or done up until now.

Even The Shrub - the guy who knew practically nothing but what Darth Cheney told him to sell us.

We have to suspend the Presumption of Regularity when we're talking about 45*.

Schiff: "We don't have one ethical standard for this president and a different ethical standard for other presidents." pic.twitter.com/SUKMMU8kaV — Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 18, 2017
An example from Lawfare Blog:

In the normal course of events, the announcement by DHS that it would ban large electronic devices from direct flights originating at ten airports in the Middle Eastwould excite a great deal of comment. Technologists would speculate as to the nature of the potential new bomb threat. Intelligence-types would be curious as to the provenance of the intel…

An Oldie

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Let's not forget we were warned - by lotsa people.

And almost weirdly, the Libertarians were among the most sharply critical of 45*:

Advice From Chelsea

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Chelsea Handler brings it for Ivanka:

Daddy State Darkness

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Vox:

Senate Republicans can't answer simple and critical questions about the health care bill they're crafting in secret.

Some still can't say what it's trying to do — other than garner enough votes to pass the Senate — or how they believe it will improve the American health care system.

Read the "answers" from the various GOP Senators - classic weaselry.

I still have to hesitate a little even though I'm sorely tempted just to pronounce the thing bullshit, but it's like there are more (and major) flags on this thing every time we turn around.

First - they're operating in secret. Maybe because they can't afford to let us see what they're doing. But maybe because they're not really doing anything - they could be stalling because...

...second, by stalling and making noise about repeal and pimping the "skyrocketing premiums" expectation, they're creating the uncertainty they're expecting will drive the Obamacare Exchanges to s…

There Are No Trees In That Forest

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Wired:

The Canadian research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen, an Arctic expedition vessel, will not be venturing north for its planned trip this year. The highly anticipated voyage aimed to monitor and understand the effects of climate change on Arctic marine and coastal ecosystems. But due to warming temperatures, Arctic sea ice is unexpectedly in motion, making the trip far too dangerous for the Amundsen and the scientists it would be carrying. In other words, the climate change study has been rendered unsafe by climate change.