Days 286–299 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

It’s been two weeks since I last posted? Time flies. This is your reminder that you have one month to sign up for health insurance on the exchanges established by the ACA. Anyway, Justin Verlander is a World Series champion, and I am richer for it.

  • The story that made me happiest these last two weeks, other than the World Series, was the Democratic gains in New Jersey and Virginia. We had Ralph Northam defeat a Republican who shamelessly chased the racist vote. We had Ashley Bennett defeating a freeholder who made fun of the Women’s March. We had Danica Roem becoming Virginia’s first transgender elected official, taking out the state’s “chief homophobe” in the process. We had candidates in Edison win after being targeted by racist mailers. It was a great night and better morning.
  • Now attention shifts to Alabama’s special election for the Senate, where Roy Moore has been exposed as a child molester who saw nothing wrong with being 32 and dating 14-year-olds. He may still win. As a yellow dog Democrat, I find it self-evident that Democrats are always better than Republicans. But Moore is deeply, deeply horrible, and his victory would be a stain on all of us. Er, another stain. Donate to Doug Jones.
  • There are so many attacks these days that they just become part of the background chatter. It doesn’t have to be this way.
  • However, remember that shooters are almost always men, and they are men who abuse women.
  • Two Russia articles for you: one from the Associated Press showing just how deep the DNC phishing operation ran, to the extent that they tried to hack accounts that had been dead since 2008; another from The Atlantic revealing that Donald Trump, Jr. was in communication with Wikileaks about the election through the election. This isn’t remotely over. (Bonus: Carl Icahn is being investigated too.)
  • The GOP tax bill really sucks. And now they’ve added ACA repeal to it, because of course. It’s another “Call Your Elected Officials Day.” (BTW, screw Notre Dame.)
  • Speaking of the ACA, Trump hasn’t been doing the outreach he’s supposed to be doing, but enrollment seems to be higher than ever (sorry, no link). Any publicity is good publicity, I guess.
  • RIP, Uwe Reinhardt.
  • Meanwhile, it’s looking like the Democrats will be targeting monopoly when they are back in charge. It’s a serious problem. It could even mess up single-payer healthcare.
  • Vox did an excellent interactive feature on college scholarships and their problems. I had never thought of merit-based aid as a subsidy for the rich, but that is what it appears to be, in practice. I had a lot to think about after reading that.
  • Gerrymandering in Michigan is horrendous, but there may be hope.
  • Tom Brady is a fraud and a hack and a quack. So he’s the perfect choice to run the FDA under Trump.
  • Australia will be banning all climbing on Uluru.
  • The tale of Laika, space hero, never fails to get me. That poor dog.
  • I’m not sure what to think about Amazon producing a Lord of the Rings prequel series, but I hope they aren’t afraid to get weird. “Minas Anoir,” a gritty detective mystery set in the corrupt Tower of the Setting Sun. “The Adventures of Tom DaBombadil,” the tale of a young rapper’s rise through the Old Forest hip-hop scene. “The Peregrin Brief,” a legal drama concerning the dangers of secondhand pipeweed smoke. The possibilities are endless.
  • Shot:

A gorillagram is a gift message, similar to a singing telegram, but delivered by a performer dressed in a gorilla suit. “Gorilla-Gram” is an abandoned trademark of Gorilla Gram Inc., first used commercially on March 20, 1980.

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Days 242–266 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

More than three weeks without an update, yet I still have a few curious readers! Thank you for your love. A whole lot has happened. With the distance of time, in-the-moment commentary seems a little strange, so I’ll pull back the camera a bit. But every link will be preserved!

  • Aurora. Sandy Hook. Las Vegas. These are not places that we should speak of in somber tones. But we do, and we will continue to do so. There will be more massacres like the one that forever snuffed out the lives of 58 people. It won’t change until our government is forced to control guns. As always, The Onion said it best. I want the Second Amendment repealed.
  • So, once again, the Gop tried to kill us all with a terrible, horrible, no good very bad law. Thankfully, Susan Collins, Rand Paul (!) and John McCain broke rank. They’ll probably try again next year, but for now the ACA remains law.
  • Historians will have to explain how Jimmy Kimmel, who once released a song called “I’m Fucking Ben Affleck,” was key to the collapse of Obamacare repeal.
  • Unfortunately, Trump is still sabotaging the ACA as best he can. He’s taken away the birth control mandate. Congress let CHIP expire. The only good news is the failure of Graham-Cassidy and the (relatively mundane) downfall of Tom Price.
  • Oh yeah, the specter of nuclear annihilation is also with us.
  • It was revolting to see Sean Spicer trotted out at the Emmys like everything was fine. Between this stunt and Jimmy Kimmel’s heartfelt ACA advocacy, I may be readjusting my late night host rankings.
  • American journalism is still normalizing Trump. They haven’t learned a damn thing. How else could Jared’s EMAILS EMAILS EMAILS not be on front pages everywhere?
  • Harvey Weinstein is yet another powerful man who abuses women with that power. Unusually pointed commentary from The Onion on this.
  • “There Is No Free Speech Crisis on Campus.” Trump supporters are the bullies who cry to teacher as soon as you fight back. Being disliked is not the same as being oppressed.
  • In astronomy news, there was a sweet little story on the deorbiting of Cassini. A less sweet story concerns the damage caused to Arecibo among the ongoing devastation in Puerto Rico.
  • Here’s an interesting article from Waging Nonviolence about an action at the Natural History Museum’s Teddy Roosevelt statue. I feel like his reputation may decline like Wilson’s.
  • Gender reveals. Read about them.
  • Kazuo Ishiguro winning the Nobel Prize made me happier than any other story these past few weeks.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends reveals a disturbing, autocratic moral philosophy. Sounds like a joke, but it ain’t. I still loved that show.
  • I liked mother!, but it’s not the most pleasant movie. Be warned.
  • The “We Can Do It!” poster does not show Rosie the Riveter, but was in fact a Westinghouse-produced propaganda piece that one day Demotivators would parody. The more you know…
  • The headline to this piece about rats has some flair, but it could have gone much further.
  • And finally, some Wikipedia articles to boggle your mind and close out the post. The Duracell Bunny actually predates the Energizer Bunny! Pablo Fanque, more than just a name from a Beatles song, was the first non-white circus owner in England! The Volkswagen Tiguan has a pathetically awful etymology for its name. And finally, American fried rice is a real Thai dish that functions as a vicious parody of our cuisine, with ingredients like “fried chicken, ham, hot dogs, raisins, ketchup and croutons.” I must try it some day.

 

Days 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240 and 241 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

The world was not ready for an Ace of Base Bond theme.

  • I generally try to put breaking news/imminent doom stuff at the top, but Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a masterpiece about Trump and it deserves its due. Read “The First White President” now. Then read his interview with Morning Edition for good measure.
  • The Gop has one last chance to repeal the ACA, and it looks like it’s going to take it. All hands on deck!
  • This is how far we’ve come, and this is what we stand to gain. Losing the ACA will be devastating to our cause.
  • The Russia news keeps coming in. I hope the indictments aren’t far behind.
  • If were to compare Hillary to any TV character, I would compare her to Skyler White.
  • China fell for Nixon’s shit and has fallen for Jared and Ivanka’s shit. It’s hard to express how disappointed I am.
  • A lot of new right-wing assholes have come into being lately, but Rush Limbaugh still sucks just as much as before.
  • Rembert Browne wrote a magnificent article on Colin Kaepernick. Kaep is a brave, brave man, and he deserves better.
  • In other football news, Michael Bennett is good and the Patriots suck.
  • Cassini has ended its mission. It was a great space probe.
  • Abe Lincoln’s image management would probably have been a great scandal if he were alive today.
  • Pizza is one of Detroit’s great strengths and I miss it more than coneys.
  • The Onion goes for the deep cut again.
  • What’s better, a Wikipedia article on the “high five” or an article on “New Jersey v. New York”?

Days 223, 224, 225, 226, 227, 228, 229 and 230 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

“Laconicity” or “laconicism”?

 

 

Days 194, 195, 196, 197, 198, 199, 200 and 201 of 1,461 (or 2,922)

Hi.

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!