Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Confidence Man

fast-talk (verb): to persuade with facile argument, usually with the intention to deceive or to overwhelm rational objections.
Gish Gallop (noun): the fallacious debating tactic of simply drowning your opponent in a torrent of small, interlocking arguments intended to prevent your opponent from being able to rebut your conclusions in real time.
OH NOES DONALD TRUMP TWEETED THAT THERE WAS VOTER FRAUD AND THAT FLAG BURNERS SHOULD BE PUNISHED AND HE LIED ABOUT THE BOEING CONTRACT FOR THE NEW AIR FORCE ONE AND HE IS STILL COMPLAINING ABOUT SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE AND...

This is the the way Trump will have the media and his critics chasing their tails for the next four years while he goes about looting the treasury and implementing policy that enriches himself and his cronies: create a fountain of distracting and self-perpetuating bullshit. I'll give him this: when it comes to television, he is a puppetmaster. He's running a clinic on distracting fast-talk while tending to his business interests and assembling an administration which will be run by Goldman Sachs.

Trump will finally become the billionaire he's always claimed to be.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Orange Is The New Darkness

Here's what I can't understand: in this election, people who appear on the surface to be good and decent made common cause with literal Nazis and Klansmen in order to elect a racist, plutocratic, authoritarian degenerate. In this task they were abetted by a Russian dictator and his spies.

AND. FOR. WHAT.

A fucking tax cut? Because abortion is icky? Hillary had an email server? Because brown people are so scary? I just do not get it. I do not think I will ever be capable of getting it. Might be time to revisit Viktor Frankl.

The inimitable Driftglass, in July:
The Democratic Party held a brilliantly coordinated, four-day political convention. The Republican Party held a four-day, wingnut Ghost Dance intended to resurrect the Confederacy.
Here's the punchline: it worked.

Long will it be before I can forgive those who collaborated with Trump and his deplorables.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Truth and Consequences

Yesterday morning I felt confident that the country would be waking up today to the election of the first woman president.

I could not have been more wrong. 

So what happened?

This article from last week describes the weakness of Clinton's coalition that I (and many others) missed: from the standpoint of the electoral map, her strengths were over-represented in democratic strongholds and under-represented in swing states. In retrospect, it tells the story: Clinton was defeated by these demographic realities and by the anachronism that is the Electoral College, by lower Democratic turnout, and by an unusually high white rural voter turnout. It's also possible that voter suppression laws had an effect on the outcome, but that is more difficult to measure. 

What seems more pressing are the potential consequences of a Trump presidency. With this upset victory, the Republicans suddenly find themselves with more power than ever before. Despite a policy gulf between Clinton and Trump larger than in any election in memory, these differences went shamefully unreported.

Here's a preview of what we might expect from President Trump, Majority Leader McConnell, and Speaker Ryan:

- an end to environmental regulation enforcement
- a supreme court justice who is against choice, gay marriage, labor rights and voting rights
- a repeal of Obamacare, which will strip 22 million people of insurance
- a repeal of Dodd-Frank, and an end to the Consumer Financial Protection Board
- our National Parks could be sold and/or leased for development and/or mining/resource exploitation
- capital gains and other tax cuts for upper incomes
- increases in fees and other regressive taxes for lower incomes
- Medicare replaced by voucher system
- privatization of Social Security
- block grants to states for everything from education to food stamps

All in all, a pretty grim picture.

Welcome to Kansas, America.

Update: SteveM has more

Friday, October 28, 2016

Let That Sink In

Republicans have been saying for the last eight years that Barry HUSSEIN Soetoro is a terrible president, an illegitimate president, one of the worst presidents ever. The obvious implication of all of the piling-on is that Republicans believe that they can do better, much better with the executive branch of government.

Donald J. Trump is the product of this belief. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Thanks, KG

Kevin Garnett

A belated post, but KG was an amazing, exciting player and an intriguing person, and a very big reason why I followed the NBA in the 1990s and 2000s.

I don't have much more to say than that.

Britt Robson's fitting tribute...
https://www.minnpost.com/sports/2016/09/true-grit-kevin-garnett-greatest-timberwolf-who-ever-lived-passes-baton

And some analysis of how he changed the definition of greatness...
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/kevin-garnett-was-the-nbas-future/

Monday, September 19, 2016

My Only Problem is "Basket"

...you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic -- you name it.
"Half"? Probably in the ballpark, yes. "Deplorable"? Absolutely. But, "basket"? This is the only problem I have with what she said. It's a clumsy attempt to be poetic when what is called for is stark prose - it's the rhetorical equivalent of up-talk when no there should be no equivocation.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Mystery That May Never Be Solved...

Looking at this chart, it's almost as if something happened in the mid-1960s that re-aligned Americans' party self-identification.


I wish there was some way to know what happened.