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AvatarComments by Michael Siegel

On “Do It Yourself Pizza

I'm going to have to try this, although the local Papa John's has really cheap pizza on mondays that kind of fulfills our weekly needs. Be nice to mix things up though.

On “Worst Use of “Will They or Won’t They” Ever: How I Met Your Mother

"But the shows creators not only had the ending worked out, they filmed the last scene in 2006 because the teenagers who played Ted’s future kids would have been grown by the time the finale aired 8 years later."

I did not know this. And I think it's the problem. The show went in a different direction than what they intended. And they had no way of adapting to that. GRMM is facing the same problem with Game of Thrones: he has the ending in mind, but the story as written is deviating and it's hard for him to wrench it back. It's why the last season of GoT felt a bit off.

On “The Democratic Debate: Houston Has Problems, Plans, and Candidates for President

I never thought I'd see a debate where the Democratic slate made Obama look like a rock-ribbed conservative and yet, here we are.

On “Little Miss Don’t Disappear

Congrats on your 100th post!

"Pretty much every message I’ve ever gotten over the course of my life has been that I’m not particularly interesting"

Those were all lies (ones I've heard as well). You're one of the best writers here and that's saying something. Even when I don't agree with you, I find your takes interesting and smart. Definitely looking forward to your next hundred!

On “Veronica Mars and the Case of the Overused Sexual Tension

Yes, thank you, my God. I hate the will-they-or-wont-they thing. It's fun for a while but, as you said, it wears out its welcome. It was one of the things that dragged down the X-files as well. And the break-up-get-back-together-will-they-or-wont-they things is even worse. One of the things i genuinely like about Seinfeld was that they never had that. Elaine was interested in either George or Cosmo. And she'd been with Jerry, they'd decided it didn't work and so it never came up as a possibility.

I never watched the show but I understand Bones played this out the semi- right way -- there was tension, they got together and then they continued working together as a team.

On “CNN Climate Emergency Town Hall: Never Let A Crisis Go to Waste

Great article. Of course, I say that because I've been beating this drum for a while. :) But it's hard to take the climate threat seriously when the Democrats don't.

Coyote Blog had a really good picture of what a good conservative climate policy might look like: Carbon tax, eliminate most subsidies, overhaul nuclear power, clean up coal.

I would add to that pour money into tech research. And not just research, but into long shot crazy programs like power satellite or nuclear fusion. Many of those projects will fail, but some will succeed. And I would say deregulation so that new tech can be deployed much more quickly.

On “The People Problem of Fast Food Labor

I think a bigger problem than wages in fast food is the micro-management of labor. Employees are no longer hired on regular shifts but are hired based on algorithms that put them in for 3-5 on Wednesday, 9-3 on Thursday, 11-9 on Saturday, 3-5 on Sunday, etc. The idea is to maximize people for when you need them. But it's absolutely crushing to people who work there. You can't live like that. Cracking down on that would be far greater than a minimum wage hike.

On “The Most Insidious Viral Marketing In The World

I watched it and thought it was both offensive and pretty funny. It's consistent with everything he's been doing throughout his career.

On “Wait. Gillibrand Is Running?

I'm actually surprised. I would have thought she would be one of the top contenders.

On “Wednesday Writs for 8/21

The US v. Lopez decision was an interesting one in its own right. IIRC, the Solicitor General basically shot himself in the foot. He was asked if he saw ANY limits to the commerce clause and he couldn't come up with any. He argue that the Feds can basically play "this is the house that jack built" with enumerated powers.

On “No, Google Did Not Steal The Election

Normally I ignore his tweets. But this particular study showed up in Congressional testimony and is being treated as serious by people who should know better.

On “Breaking Bad: Picard

TNG technobabble episodes always let me cold. "Oh, the decrombulator has unexpectedly broken. Maybe if we re-align the fnortner rod, it will work!" The best episodes like Inner Light worked on personal drama.

Really, the first sign that this was going to be a problem series was when they a fricking counselor on the bridge just to make sure everyone's feeling were OK. How very 80s.

On “Defenders Of The Gold Bikini 2: The Fempire Doesn’t Strike Back

I always subscribed to the theory that Anakin drained her life and was able to do so because of their connection (w/ an assist from Palpatine). There's a moment in the movie where his heartbeat stops and then resumes and she dies. That heavily implies that she either gave her life for him or he took it. And somehow the Emperor knows she's dead.

Nah, she didn't die of a broken heart. She was murdered.

On “Jane Wick

Another great post! Totally agree on the action movie stuff. It's not just that it's unrealistic. it's that it goes on FOREVER with nothing being resolved, no one getting even seriously hurt and guys just wiping the sweat off and keep going. There was scene recently in Dare Devil (probably not recently) where he was shown panting and gasping for air during a fight. I found that much more interesting.

Wrote about it a bit here:

On “The Answer, My Friend, is Blowin’ in the Wind? Perhaps.

One of my biggest problems with the debate is that everyone says, "all the studies say gun control" works when all the studies say no such things. The last comprehensive meta study came to no conclusions. Many of the most touted studies (e.g., the Connecticut study) turn out to be deeply flawed. People then fall back on post-hoc logic (Australia saw a drop in gun deaths after passing a buyback; but the United States saw an even sharper drop without one) or plots that consist of a meaningless scatter of points and the United States as an outlier, proving ... something.

In the end, this is not about whether gun control works or not. It's a culture war issue. Liberals don't want guns being around; conservatives want them around. And it also shows an astonishing faith in government.

What we're witnessing with these mass shootings is a social contagion. Each shooter studies the methods of his predecessor and wants to build on those to rack up an even bigger body count. Maybe gun control lowers the body count, maybe it doesn't. But it's not going to stop them. I don't know what will.

On “Mayor Pete

I think that's probably right. My feeling is that Mayor Peter is angling more for a future run in 2024 or 2028. His meteoric rise -- well, somewhat -- reminds me a bit of Obama. So a VP seat, Senate seat, maybe governorship. We'll see.

And I agree that Biden is likely to pick Harris if he wins the nomination. He won't pick Warren because they'll lose the Senate seat (and she's more valuable to him in the Senate anyway). He will try very hard to pick a woman. Klobuchar might be a better fit as she would bring Midwest votes (and Minnesota has a Dem governor). But I think tapping Harris will solidify his flank.


Yes, we certainly wouldn't want to elect someone unqualified for the position.

On “Amy, I Think I Could Stay With You

Klobuchar is one of the Dems I could maybe vote for. Her record as a prosecutor is a bit bothersome but other parts are good. Wonder if she'll be on the list of VP candidates to shore up the Midwestern flank.

On “Democratic Debates: Biden in the Middle

I know you don't like Gabbard. And I don't like her ties to Russia or Assad. But watching her demolish Harris' BS "progressive prosecutor" narrative was a joy. If her campaign does nothing else -- and it probably won't -- it did that.

On “Josh Hawley Is From the Government and He’s Here to Help

Hawley is one of the worst members of Congress right now. There's no problem that he doesn't think has an authoritarian solution. And he's perfectly willing to stoke racial/religious tensions.

We've often wondered what it would be like if Trump were competent. Hawley is the answer to that question. And that fascist is going to run for President one day.

On “Kamala Harris

This is as good a case as any. I do think she has a bit of the "it" factor going for her. But I can't get past her record as a prosecutor, particularly her endangering of sex workers and ignoring law enforcement abuses. And her policy knowledge is ... lacking to say the least. She's taken at least four different positions on healthcare reform in just the last week.

On “Jay Inslee For President

Inslee has been kind of wishy-washy on nuclear, which is the most viable alternative to fossils. That makes me leery of this seriousness on the climate.

On “RetConning the Tea Party

I think, at the beginning, there was a lot of genuine conservatism. But most people who are not political junkies don't have clearly formed ideas. And a bunch of grifters and shysters got in, drew out their worst instincts, and made money off of it. It's like Will said in his post: Trump (and other others) bring out the worst in people.

And here we are, ten years later, with a movement that has all the power they wanted and has no idea what the hell to do with it. Other than pwning the libs, I guess.

On “Trump’s Useful Idiot

Great post, Em. Also clicked through to that CC account and all "she" does is tweet MAGA stuff all. day. long. Definitely a bot. But apparently one with 300k followers.

We live in weird times.