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    • AvatarChip Daniels in reply to Urusigh on About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic DebateSo... Trump really isn't going to provide great insurance for everybody? He isn't going to withdraw us from forever wars? He isn't going to protect workers from crony capitalists? He really is just reinforcing old Republicanism, now with extra racism? This is my shocked face.
    • AvatarUrusigh in reply to Chip Daniels on About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic DebateNah, those all still exist. If you've read Buckley you might recall that when asked who he'd vote for, his answer was essentially "the furthest right candidate who I think can win". AFAICT, the Republican base, more than anything else, is tired of losing. Even when we've won, the guy rarely delivers. E. I. John McCain when running for Reelection declared himself "The 1# opponent of Obamacare!"... After winning that election, he later cast the vote that saved Obamacare. Every election, the republican candidates rally the base by going on and on about what God-fearing Christians they are, how deeply opposed to abortion they are, and how strongly 2nd Amendment they are. Looking back at their actual votes, not the "protest votes" they knew couldn't pass, but during the few times we actually had the numbers to put a clean bill down and force it through... How many times can you recall where they used that opportunity to actually pass something in defense of religious freedom, something notably pro-life, or pro-2A? Nothing but tax cuts? Yes, I support lower taxes, but the old fusionism between social and economic conservatives hasn't exactly been delivering for the social half. Trump did two things that broke that mold. First, he didn't bother making the "I'm personally a great Christian" pitch followed by vague claims of support, instead he put down some hard markers, no more attacks on Christians, judges that'll overturn RvW, say "Merry Christmas" with pride, etc. Those who playe…
    • Avatargreginak in reply to Urusigh on About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic DebateThe "rising debt" went down under Obama. So yeah. Shutdowns are terrible and useless for trying to limit spending in any sensible way. So of course they didn't work. Telling agencies just to spend less is also just plain silly. That was posturing for tweets and tv. Trump's plans didn't work because they were poorly thought out with bad methods. Reforming spending would be easier if cutting defense was something that we could. Sadly that seems difficult. There are very few things which are major contributors to our debt. If we are talking about spending we also need to talk about the money we are taking in. Taxes. None of the problems you mention about crony capitalism or ethics make Trumps corruption okey or dokey. FWIW i used to live in NJ when trump was big in NY and i also spend a ton of time in Atlantic City while he was cratering his casino empire there. So i have plenty of data on whether trump is a crook, corrupt or a good business man. Nothing in the past 3 years has changed my opinion.
    • AvatarUrusigh in reply to greginak on About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic DebateTo be clear, I did not and do not consider President Trump a crook. I simply don't consider the President relevant on that topic regardless of party. No matter which president you vote for, it won't change the crony capitalism and rising debt. It's too late for any president to stop them. Trump tried sending budgets to the House that would have cut spending and streamlined government. Each time, those budgets were dead on arrival, never even got a vote. He tried veto and shutdown, still didn't do the trick. He even tried getting agencies to use less money than they were given... And got sued for it. The House controls the government's spending, "the Power of the Purse", and you'll notice that it has a suspicious number of millionaires and even billionaires on both sides that sure as hell didn't make all that money off of their official paychecks. The rest are pretty much all deep in hock to their big donors. I've seen both parties manage at least 2yr of majority control in House, Senate, and Presidency during my life, so called "unified government". I've yet to see either party use that opportunity to seriously reform spending or crack down on any corruption or ethics issues that they can't blame on the other side. There isn't a majority in the House, bipartisan or otherwise, that is willing to make the necessary cuts or lose working relationships by outing the shady shit done by people whose votes they need for their own legislation. If love to fix that problem, but I have y…
    • AvatarChip Daniels in reply to InMD on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020The analogy fits or not depending on what your takeaway lessons from the fascist regimes are. If your lesson from them is so narrow as to only allow comparison when there is industrial slaughter of ethnic groups, then yeah, its totally nuts. But if your lesson is that the Holocaust is but one of many such episode in history, where a group of people is segregated out as Unpersons, beings without humanity of dignity, then it fits. Episodes like the ethnic cleansing of Natives people in the Western hemisphers; Slavery; The Japanese internment; Ethnic cleansing in the Balkans; The Rohinyga genocide; The Rwandan genocide. None of these are exactly the same as the Nazi slaughter, but they all have that in common. And here it fits. The Trump administration isn't simply enforcing a law. The point here as is often pointed out, is the infliction of cruelty and suffering. They don't have to do this, but they eagerly choose to to demonstrate their superiority, and the powerlessness of the hated other. They don't have to refer to them as murderers and rapists, but they do that too, as a way of stripping them of their humanity and dignity. In the eyes of the Trumpists, immigrants are Unpersons, dangerous and unworthy of being treated as equals. The Nazi regime was unique only in regards to how efficient they were in accomplishing their work; Otherwise, they were really not much different than a hundred other dismal cruel unjust regimes before or since. The Trump administration is- so far-…
    • Avatargreginak in reply to Stillwater on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking ShapeI thought it was a team of two or three people? Whatever. I pointed out a few weeks ago that it was actual journalists who "got" epstein or at least got the spot light on him which renewed the interest of the cops. I stated this in response to a comment that journo's hadn't investigated him. There was of course a lot of press who ignored him or hushed up stories. Since his story broke there have been plenty of stories about him. All of this seems accurate as far as i can tell. To be clear about any point i may actually have, it's that conspiracy oriented folks chase secrets and hints and believe any damn thing fueled by their own biases. Sex abuse, certainly when abetted or ignored by institutions, is a major problem. If we are to actually lessen it we need not spend all our attention on the conspiracy and ignore all the people right in front of our faces. Should there be consequences for Starr for his role in failing to investigate sex abuse? What about Dersh? Well Dersh was lawyering so i say no to any consequences for that. But was he involved as a person? Is he caught up do to any personal/ non professional behavior? Where are the "Ep didn't kill himself folks"?
    • AvatarUrusigh in reply to Saul Degraw on About Last Night: Fifty Shades of Fearful Beige in Democratic Debate"In 2018, I remember lots of libertarian and conservative white guys were predicting that the Democrats would lose big." I wasn't. The party out of power usually picks up seats in the House the next election. That's normal, happened to Obama too and he still won Reelection afterwards. Nationally though, while Trump has been losing the upper class white suburban housewives that were already trending from red to blue, he's picked up more of the working class and has been making major inroads with minorities. Yes, that means some locations are going to swap sides depending on the local demographics, but that's a normal part of Realignment. The places he needs still lean Red and it doesn't look like he's going to lose the hole he made in the "Blue Wall". He also pulled off his last victory with a tiny budget and a jury-rigged mess of a campaign operation against the single largest war chest in US history, first major party female nominee, and the entire establishment. Sure, lots of democrats hate his guts, but they already voted last time too, and he won then. Depending on the poll, Trump's approval numbers are tracking pretty close to Obama's, his economic indicators are far better, and this time it's the Democrats who are short on cash and the RNC that's flush with funds and already running the biggest ground game and digital operation ever seen. I know it's not just the red bubble calling it either, there's no shortage of alarmed liberals writing articles screaming that the pa…
    • AvatarStillwater in reply to greginak on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking Shapeall those journalists who have done stories on him and the ones who took him down. Just one journalist, really. Julie K Brown.
    • AvatarPROFESSOR ESPERANTO on Saturday Morning Gaming: Pleased to hear that Cyberpunk 2077 is being delayedPlanescape: Torment. I am disappointed I peeked at hints/clues. I dislike the pixel hint aspect, but I finally got the brass ball and a tiefling team member.
    • AvatarJaybird in reply to greginak on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking ShapeI guess there just isn't anything there. Like they're nothingburgers.
    • Avatargreginak in reply to Jaybird on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking ShapeWow you missed all those journalists who have done stories on him and the ones who took him down. Odd. I wonder if anybody will yell out Epstein didn't kill himself when Dersh is doing his abuse of power isnt' impeachable shite. And then there is Starr and his Baylor ignominy. It's almost like that means nothing.
    • AvatarStillwater on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking ShapeTrump is in an enviable position: since he has zero interest in arguing the case on the merits (since his acquittal is foregone) he can employ defense attorneys who have star power and/or are good on TV so's to win the propaganda war.
    • AvatarGeorge Turner on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking ShapeAlan Dershowitz on the GAO conclusion The Constitution allocates to the president sole authority over foreign policy (short of declaring war or signing a treaty). It does not permit Congress to substitute its foreign policy preferences for those of the president. To the extent that the statute at issue constrains the power of the president to conduct foreign policy, it is unconstitutional. Even if the GAO were correct in its legal conclusion — which it is not — the alleged violation would be neither a crime nor an impeachable offense. It would be a civil violation subject to a civil remedy, as were the numerous violations alleged by the GAO with regard to other presidents. If Congress and its GAO truly believe that President Trump violated the law, let them go to court and seek the civil remedy provided by the law. I can see why he's on the defense team.
    • AvatarJaybird in reply to greginak on President Trump’s Impeachment Legal Team Taking ShapeWho is this "Epstein" fellow? Maybe there is an opportunity for a hungry young journalist to do a story about who he was and who his associates were and what they're likely guilty of... (Personally, I'd assume that any journalist who is *NOT* pushing for that is on team "Acquit Trump".)
    • AvatarStillwater on Houston Astros, We Have a Problem…I get that Manfred is doing his best to keep a lid on this pressure cooker, but this scandal ain't going away in part because the punishments he imposed (other than the draft picks) miss the mark. Houston should have to return their 2017 rings. And all those (great?) players - Altuve, Bregman, Springer, Correa, Guriel - need at least a hand slap.
    • AvatarJames K on The Happiest Sadist: Phèdre and Kushiel’s DartI just wanted to chime in and say that "The Happiest Sadist" is a really good title.
    • AvatarMichael Cain in reply to fillyjonk on Weekend Plans Post: The WrenchMy wife got the same diagnosis two days later. If tandem coughing were an event, we're ready.
    • AvatarAndrew Donaldson in reply to PD Shaw on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…Appreciate you saying that as we are sort of testing and discussing putting these back in the rotation
    • Henrietta Lowellfillyjonk in reply to Michael Cain on Weekend Plans Post: The WrenchSympathies! I know there are some really horrific viral things making the rounds right now. I hope you feel better soon. (I had asthmatic bronchitis about 25 years ago and I remember the inhaler and prednisone injection (so I didn't cough myself to pieces) not-fondly)
    • Henrietta Lowellfillyjonk in reply to Maribou on Weekend Plans Post: The WrenchFistbump of solidarity. I'm gonna plan on an early but decent dinner Sunday night, and have told myself that "if there's ever a time you're 'allowed' to have a donut, it's after you get fasting bloodwork done' so that's my plan after I walk out of the office Monday morning. Not sure if I will still need the other testing....the alarming symptom has, uh, abated, and in retrospect, if this had happened a year earlier? I would have shrugged and gone "okay, so 'the change' wasn't done for me yet, fine, carry on.' Gonna see if my doctor is around Monday morning to get advice on if I REALLY need a test that will be unpleasant and will cost me considerably more than the simple office co-pay. But at least I've gone from Thursday's feeling of "o sh*t, this might be it, I might find out I have six months left" which also led to worries about "what will I do with all the crap I've collected" and sadness about "I have all these books I never got to read" and also "why did I waste so much time sitting in pointless meetings." I've had the whole "remember thou art mortal" thing shoved in my face waaaaay too much these past six months and I'll be honest, Thursday I was wondering if it just broke me and I was even contemplating "well, if you find out you have limited time left, just quit. Don't care that you're burning bridges, having fun with whatever time you have left is more important" but......that seems vanishingly unlikely now.
    • AvatarAaron David in reply to InMD on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020Gah! I hate swiping keyboards! I just lost the start of my answer to you. But, in any case, thank you for writing a nice, in-depth reply. In many ways, since I wrote my first few pieces on this, I am still struggling to find out what is going on. Your answer helps greatly with that. The whole western world is going is of legitimacy in its systems of government I think this is at the heart of the matter. From Brexit and Bosenario to Modi and Xi, what we once took for granted, the post-WWII paradigm is being renegotiated. Trump isn't so much a bad guy as an agent of change. And those who are not being rewarded by this change, which I definitely think includes both of us as it is our "class" that is being hit the hardest by this, are acting out against Trump. This, from the ATL fed illustrates where the wage growth under Trump has been felt, and I am not sure that people in our positions and economic groupings are feeling it as much as others* https://www.frbatlanta.org/chcs/wage-growth-tracker.aspx Now, I don't talk to my old union buddies very often anymore, but with the breakdown of numbers there, it looks like they are feeling pretty good about things over the last three years. And, if the POTUS is speaking directly to them, and not calling them deplorable or talking about putting them out of work... You can get a 90% approval rating pretty quickly, as Trump has among Republicans. And it really doesn't matter which of the several reasons you cited that motivates them, as lon…
    • AvatarInMD in reply to Chip Daniels on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020Chip, I like you man but this is one of the reasons we can't have nice things. You just compared sending foreigners who skipped our legal process back to their home countries to annexing a neighboring state, slaughtering its political class, then shipping its minorities to extermination camps. That's seriously nuts. Now I happen to believe we should be humane to people in the country illegally as we send them home and am not happy with what's happening at the border. But the comparison you just made is so histrionic, so ahistorical, and so disconnected from the actual issues in play as to be a complete derailment. It does not get us anywhere.
    • AvatarPD Shaw on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…I appreciate the work that goes into these link-fests and hope they continue. I'll continue my practice: [Cbx] 2012 e-mail from Illinois Democratic party insider making a comeback; he asked the governor's office to go easy on disciplinary proceedings because the employee “has kept his mouth shut on Jones’ ghost workers, the rape in Champaign and other items. He is loyal to the Administration.”
    • AvatarAndrew Donaldson in reply to Michael Cain on Weekend Plans Post: The WrenchFeel better Michael
    • AvatarPD Shaw on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…CB16: Get elected, do nothing, still get paid. Nice gig if you can keep it. (I think the underlying issues are the corrosive effects of the Good Friday Agreement's requirement of "cross-community votes" on matters of concern, allowing the old identity-based politics of Sinn Fein and DUP to have an advantaged position and the ability to block legislation far beyond their ability to enact. While voters have polled support for more policy-driven parties, the system encourages them to vote their identity. Something that made sense to bring inter-community peace is now undermining self-government.)
    • AvatarChip Daniels in reply to InMD on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020I have Trumpist relatives and friends as well. You're right that overt racial hostility isn't evident in many Trump supporters. But it never was, anywhere ever. Which becomes sort of a distinction without a difference. These are the Letter From Birmingham Jail people, the people Col. Jessup refers to when he says these people need him to do ugly things even if they don't talk about it at parties. I read an anecdote once about a Jewish Holocaust survivor who moved back to her town in native Poland and a neighbor came to her and said "We're so sorry to hear what happened to your people; But we never knew anything about it." And the other woman said "Where did you think we all went?" The first woman shifted uncomfortably and mumbled "We just...thought..well, you left and went away somewhere." That's what we're dealing with here. That Polish woman was very nice, very kind and totally not anti-Semitic. But she wasn't about to lift a finger in opposition to it either. Somewhere one of these very kind non-racist and sweet-natured Trumpist's gardener just, well, disappears along with his wife and kids. And they cluck their tongues sadly, and then check Craigslist to see how they can get another one who will work as cheaply. Injustice doesn't need everyone's participation, just their acquiescence.
    • AvatarSaturday Morning Gaming: Pleased to hear that Cyberpunk 2077 is being delayed - Ordinary Times on Saturday Morning Gaming: The Spoilerish Review of The Outer Worlds[…] At the time, we said stuff like “Maybe this will be for DLC?” and, yeah, it’s true. Witcher 3’s DLC was AMAZING and large enough to be a game in and of itself… and yet… […]
    • AvatarMurali on The Happiest Sadist: Phèdre and Kushiel’s DartI've read the Phedre trilogy and the Imriel trilogy, but not the Moirin Trilogy. It might be worth discussing the Imriel trilogy here. Her handling of Imriel (a born sadist) as a genuinely heroic protagonist was masterful. Her Sundering duology is also good.
    • AvatarThe Happiest Sadist: Phèdre and Kushiel’s Dart - Ordinary Times on Romance Before Bros[…] time, I’m reading literary books rather than trashy ones to prove the point that romance can be written about in a literary way. That means you lucky people get to hear even more of my innermost thoughts on the subjects of love […]
    • AvatarInMD in reply to Aaron David on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020The big distinction you'll see between me and Chip (and others with similar opinions to Chip on this issue) is I don't think there's some single, simple factor motivating Trump voters or that makes them particularly unique among the wider electorate. Some of them love his schtick, some of them see it as a deal with the devil, still more are just habitual R voters who have been and will continue to vote R forever. He did catch lightning in a few strategic corners of the Midwest/rust belt where successive administrations have been promising and failing to deliver help but they've been a semi-sleeping factor since Clinton was president. Most of my relatives who voted for him fall into that last category. They cast R votes for Trump in a safely blue state for presidential election but would probably all be perfectly happy with Larry Hogan or some other 'RINO.' It's their team and they're committed to it (interestingly my mother did defect, but that's probably been a long time coming). As for the siphoning of wealth thing it depends on the sophistication of who I'm talking to. I would say there's a general consensus that government resources are spent, lavishly on things from which they don't benefit and by people who look down on them and their interests. Beyond that though these are individuals so when I ask what should be done you get all kinds of answers, from things that wouldn't sound out of place at a Bernie Sanders rally to a vintage 'anywhere but those people' rant about…
    • AvatarMichael Cain on Weekend Plans Post: The WrenchThis whole week has been wrenched. On Monday the Kaiser doc said the hideous cough was sinusitis and bronchitis, and prescribed an antibiotic, steroids, and an inhaler. So add in the fun that comes with having all your gut bugs killed off. Spent last night with lower back muscle spasms, reason unknown. So long as I moved veeery slooowly the spasms stayed calm. Turned getting into and out of bed, and even rolling over, into qigong forms. Same spasms returned this evening, but seem to have resolved already with some diligent (slow) stretching. Still coughing stuff up. If that doesn't clear up over the weekend, it'll be back to Kaiser on Monday. The triage nurse at Kaiser same-day care this past Monday said that the crud getting passed around Front Range Colorado seems particularly nasty this year.
    • AvatarRufus F. in reply to Rufus F. on For Your Consideration: A Preview Of The 92nd Academy AwardsAnd I have to say that US made many of the same points as Parasite, while being scarier.
    • AvatarBrandon Berg on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…CB12: It's positively Orwellian how consistently and stridently advocates of "affordable housing" oppose the only thing that can actually make housing more affordable.
    • AvatarAaron David in reply to InMD on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020You say your father is going to vote for him, how does he feel about these things you bring up? The other members of your family? "But I do think people care about the fact that the state has turned into a means of siphoning wealth upwards and prioritizing interests remote from those of the average citizen." When do those family members think this started? Soley with Trump? Or did it extend back further, Biden, Bush, Clinton and so on? Why do you think he is a sham? Do your relatives think about that? Or maybe they feel that is all part of the game, so why not a guy sticking it to the other team? But, honestly, why do you think Trump voters went that way? Say it is all a sham, are they confused? Are they as evil/bad as Chip and whatnot think? Did the country backslide on racism? Or do those things even matter to the ones who voted for him at all? Do they, your family, place the same values on them, racism and whatnot, as you do? And most importantly, do they think its a grift? (on a side note, there is one actual con-man in my family tree, my great grandfather. Thus, I generally have a very tight definition of the terms surrounding it.)
    • AvatarBrandon Berg on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…CB5: I was surprised to come across a Big Boy in suburban Tokyo about five years ago. Apparently there are about 300 Big Boy restaurants in Japan. https://www.bigboyjapan.co.jp/ Different menu, though. Same deal with Denny's. They have the name and logo, but the food's totally different.
    • AvatarRufus F. on For Your Consideration: A Preview Of The 92nd Academy AwardsI've only seen three of them: The Irishman, Once Upon a Time..., and Parasite. Of the three, Parasite was the best constructed story and was just a neat little Hitchcockian thriller. I wasn't as enamored as the critics were with it's "satirical" elements, which seemed a little obvious. But it was still the best of the three for my money. It won't win best picture, though. Let's be honest- the best foreign language Oscar is for movies like Parasite.
    • AvatarChip Daniels in reply to Jaybird on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020*Glances at the City Council of Topeka* https://www.topeka.org/citycouncil/ Yeah, that's about the size of it.
    • AvatarOscar Gordon in reply to Murali on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…5'11", I just do a lot of walking, so my feet have grown over the years
    • AvatarJaybird in reply to Chip Daniels on What the Houston Astros Teach Democrats About 2020The problem is that people think that "multiculturalism" means "Epcot". What it really means is "Topeka".
    • AvatarMurali in reply to Oscar Gordon on Linky Friday: Don’t Call it a Comeback…Hey, we've got a similar shoe size. How tall are you? I'm about 6'3 (190 cm)