Day 180 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

The Disaster Artist looks pretty good.

  • First there were two, then there were three. And the newest round of ACA repeal is also dead. See you tomorrow!
  • When in doubt, privatize Medicare. Paul Ryan is more one-note than a tuning fork.
  • Obama’s Iran deal is working and Trump is finding it hard to scrap. I sense a pattern.
  • Trump’s ties to Russia go way, way back.

Whether Trump knew it or not, Russian mobsters and corrupt oligarchs used his properties not only to launder vast sums of money from extortion, drugs, gambling, and racketeering, but even as a base of operations for their criminal activities. In the process, they propped up Trump’s business and enabled him to reinvent his image. Without the Russian mafia, it is fair to say, Donald Trump would not be president of the United States.

  • You’d think that he would have learned to speak Russian by now. Instead he’s meeting with Putin without bringing an interpreter, or any staff for that matter.
  • I knew that the Republicans control Michigan’s legislature through gerrymandering, but I didn’t realize how bad it was. I hope this ballot initiative goes somewhere.

In 2012, Michigan Democrats received 52% of the votes cast for state House, but won 46% of the seats. In 2014, Democrats received 51% of the votes for state House and won 43% of the seats. And in 2016, Democrats received just under 50% of the votes for state House, and again won 43% of the seats.

In congressional races in 2016, Democrats received 47% of the votes, but won just 36% of the seats, records show.

Days 176, 177, 178 and 179 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

2018 WILL MOST ASSUREDLY BE A GOOD YEAR!

Days 173, 174 and 175 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

  • Man, Junior straight up admitted collusion (a federal crime!) on his Twitter account, while implicating Manafort and Jared. And we’ve just learned that the Republican operative who sought Hillary’s emails committed suicide shortly after his interview. It strains credulity, but it’s all happening.
  • The timeline of Junior’s meeting with the Russians squares uncomfortably well with Trump’s campaign rhetoric last year. What did Donald Trump know, and when did he know it?
  • Charlie Pierce, as usual, says it best.
  • Meanwhile, Jared adds 100 names to his security clearance form. Pity the poor man, he must have dementia.
  • The ACA is not collapsing. Don’t believe their lies.
  • Protesters against Trumpcare are getting arrested in the U.S. Capitol. The least you can do is call your Senators.
  • Yet another failure of neoliberalism. Vote Green!
  • I don’t see why the Dems shouldn’t be shouting for Trump’s impeachment from the rooftops. More should follow Brad Sherman’s example.
  • Ruben Bolling is a national treasure. And the new “Murder on the Orient Express” also looks great.
  • I say this all the time, but until he loses his job, it must be reiterated: David Brooks is a loathsome clown and you shouldn’t let your liberal guilt trick you into reading him.
  • Politics is the only profession where total inexperience is valued. That’s bad.
  • Honestly, I’m surprised that MRAs weren’t already part of the Trump administration. But Betsy DeVos will work to correct that.
  • The clowns in Newark screwed up their anti-gentrification ordinance.
  • Welcome to the Democratic Party, good sir! I hope you stay.
  • I fondly remember the Obama administration, when the most consistent target of my ire was Silicon Valley. It’s good to know that some things don’t change.
  • Merriam-Webster is another national treasure.
  • The copy editors at The New Yorker are national treasures as well.
  • That stupid fake Einstein quote about insanity is fake and you should feel bad about using it.
  • Happy Belated National Mojito Day!

Days 170, 171 and 172 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

  • So, on Saturday we learned that Donald Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who was linked to the Kremlin. On Sunday we learned that Donald Jr. met for the express purpose of getting info that would damage Hillary. And on Monday we learned that Donald Jr. was told in an EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL EMAIL that this info was coming from the Russian government. Props to the… [sigh]… New York Times for this.
  • Despite the saturation coverage of the Tea Party in 2009 and 2010, most of the organizing surrounding the ACA in those years was in favor of the law. Trumpcare, being a moral abomination, has no grassroots support whatsoever.
  • Free speech is amazing. “Free speech,” in the hands of the right, is only a tool used to abridge the left’s right to, of course, free speech.
  • Per Steve Benen, taking yourself off the voter rolls because Trump wants to suppress your vote is like plucking your eyes out to avoid getting blinded.
  • Per Steve Bannon, er, this article about him, in his office he hangs a most-assuredly tacky portrait of himself as Napoleon fucking Bonaparte. Jesus.
  • Chris Christie’s audition for talk radio went about as I expected.
  • The Detroit Public Schools will be improving their existing schools instead of letting outsiders create new ones for no gain. Progress.
  • I shouldn’t need to say that making homeless people more miserable is an act of cruelty that solves nothing.
  • Speaking of increasing the misery of the miserable, Christopher Hitchens was completely right about Mother Teresa, friend of poverty.
  • The name of Cheerios, oddly enough, has nothing to do with that Britishism.
  • Yes, the computers have solved chess, but can they win a wrestling match?
  • For that matter, can they solve Existential Chess, the greatest chess variant I have ever seen?

What’s the best piece to confabulate the archer with?

Answer: It depends on how you wish to use it. If you want to use it offensively, then either with a squire, schizzy or teleporter. If you wish to use it defensively, then either with the king or zednick. The archer/zednick piece moves only one square in a capturing or non-capturing manner when it doesn’t fire an arrow, so it’s rather clumsy to use it as an offensive attacking piece, but instead makes an excellent “stay-at-home” defender, where it can fire arrows up to three squares away.

  • Soon, we will know more about Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
  • Squirrel Girl will be played by AT&T Girl in live action. Humanity is a success.

That Global Warming Article

New York has an omnibus article up about the global warming catastrophe we find ourselves in. It’s not an uplifting read.

The Earth has experienced five mass extinctions before the one we are living through now, each so complete a slate-wiping of the evolutionary record it functioned as a resetting of the planetary clock, and many climate scientists will tell you they are the best analog for the ecological future we are diving headlong into. Unless you are a teenager, you probably read in your high-school textbooks that these extinctions were the result of asteroids. In fact, all but the one that killed the dinosaurs were caused by climate change produced by greenhouse gas. The most notorious was 252 million years ago; it began when carbon warmed the planet by five degrees, accelerated when that warming triggered the release of methane in the Arctic, and ended with 97 percent of all life on Earth dead. We are currently adding carbon to the atmosphere at a considerably faster rate; by most estimates, at least ten times faster. The rate is accelerating.

Heat is just the start. We can expect famine, pandemics, pollution, war, economic collapse, acid oceans, etc. And it’ll get worse, because the effects of global warming reinforce each other. We’re in a death spiral of positive feedback.

I’m not optimistic. Climate change will create the greatest refugee crisis in the history of humanity. But refugees from just one country in the Middle East were enough to cause the good people of Britain and the U.S. to commit national seppuku. We’re drowning in the baby pool.

Actually addressing the ongoing apocalypse demands collaboration and a sense of self-sacrifice not seen in this country since the Second World War. And yet:

[More] than half of the carbon humanity has exhaled into the atmosphere in its entire history has been emitted in just the past three decades; since the end of World War II, the figure is 85 percent. Which means that, in the length of a single generation, global warming has brought us to the brink of planetary catastrophe, and that the story of the industrial world’s kamikaze mission is also the story of a single lifetime.

The communal altruism that we need to save our planet is the same communal altruism that enabled us to build the modern age of peace and prosperity that doomed our planet. Irony will be our species’ most enduring legacy.

Days 165, 166, 167, 168 and 169 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

It was Independence Day.

  • The ACA is good, unlike Republican laws. That is THE reason that Republicans are having trouble repealing it. Keep calling.
  • Ironically, both times in U.S. history that the government enacted single-payer healthcare were shortly followed by the elections of Richard Nixon and Donald Trump, respectively. Perhaps it’s not a cheat code for eternal electoral victory. I still think it’s good policy! (h/t Scott Lemieux)
  • Well, the Russia hacking saga is over! Putin himself assured us.
  • Citizens United, Shelby County, Hobby Lobby. What are “terrible Supreme Court decisions that could have been overturned with Merrick Garland’s confirmation”? And now Kennedy may be retiring soon. I’m sad.
  • Speaking of Hobby Lobby and terribleness…
  • But Chick-fil-A ain’t gun let Hobby Lobby’s awfulness go uncontested.
  • Good thing Congress wants to let churches get involved in politics while retaining tax-exempt status! Perfect timing, really.
  • The people who cheer the body-slamming of journalists are sad about CNN not exposing one of them. I am overflowing with sympathy.
  • Labor should never take less than it’s worth to accommodate the wants of management, whether it’s in sports or acting. Though Emma Stone and coworkers are in a tough position. 😦
  • The White House should really consider hiring a scheduler.
  • The White House should really consider firing Jared.
  • Michigan frequently fills me with shame.
  • The gas chambers at Auschwitz are probably the worst place on earth to use as a movie studio.
  • Chris Christie is a complete disgrace, and I’m glad that the good people of New Jersey have (finally) realized it.
  • And then some good news out of Jersey as well, for fairness and balance.
  • What mass transit really needs is fresh coffee. Read this if your eyes need rolling.
  • We recently marked the 154th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Read about Gettysburg’s black community, which Robert E. Lee’s army did its best to destroy during the invasion.
  • Er, uh, well, like, um, so.
  • Sheila Michaels, who popularized “Ms.”, has passed. In pace requiescat.
  • The Tour de France is always a good time to revisit one of my favorite Onion articles.
  • A two-fer this time. From “X-Patent”:

The Patent Office 1836 fire occurred on December 15 when the patents were in temporary storage while a new (more fireproof) facility was being built.

Although the building was constructed to be fireproof, many of its contents were not; some 80,000 models and some 600,000 copy drawings were destroyed.

Days 160, 161, 162, 163 and 164 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Man, I don’t know why I’ve been updating so sporadically. I haven’t even been that busy.

  • The Pete Campbell strategy of selling Trumpcare is off to a dismal start. But selling something with a 17% approval rating is going to be tough, and that’s before you start arresting people with disabilities for protesting their own imminent deaths.
  • That said, this bill is dangerously close to passing, so make your calls!
  • Now we know that a Republican operative was actively seeking Hillary’s emails — and didn’t care if a foreign government were the source. Drip drip drip.
  • I’m glad that states are pushing back against Trump’s not-at-all-suspicious request for every voter’s personal information. But if yours hasn’t yet, call your Secretary of State!
  • Neil Gorsuch sucks and is dishonest. Perfect timing now that Texas is chipping away at Obergefell. Everyone who takes a job, even a non-stolen one, from Donald Trump is inherently suspect.
  • Every day a new blow to basic decency. There’s just not much to say anymore.
  • “I Don’t Know How To Explain To You That You Should Care About Other People”
  • Think of all the journalists, documentarians, social issue filmmakers and more who work to make the world a better place. Then think about James O’Keefe, who uses his power for evil, to spread misery and ruin lives. Death is too good for him.
  • Speaking of journalism, The New York Times, being garbage, is firing a bunch of copy editors. They will rerget this!
  • This 10 Commandments statue saga is one of the funniest vandalism-related stories I’ve read in a while. Michael Tate Reed is a man on a mission.
  • In the words of a Facebook friend, “I can’t wait for Cuomo to run for president so he can get completely clowned on how poorly he’s run the subways.”
  • Yet Cuomo is still much, much better than Chris Christie, king of the rat bastards.
  • I don’t understand everything about California’s single-payer fight, but the news is unpromising, and the bill appears to be a waste of time (funding mechanisms are not something you fix in post!). The Trump era, unfortunately, will see more triage than advancement.
  • I suppose we’re on a state government kick. Elbridge Gerry of gerrymandering fame pronounced his last name like “Gary,” or “gill,” or the incorrect way of saying “GIF.” Now you know!
  • The “Progressive Liberal” is a hilarious wrestling heel, and I wish him all the success in the world.
  • “Teethpaste” is not a word, and per Merriam-Webster, there is no reason it should be. But it might be fun to bust it out on occasion.
  • I liked Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds,” but how on earth did the good people of Wikipedia decide to use that movie as an example for “happy ending”?
  • And finally, I have been informed that posting links on Facebook 50 times a day is a sign that you are a spreader of fake news. This post, however, only has 27 links, so I am in the clear!