Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Well, do I base all of my decisions on what Megan McArdle thinks or do I adopt Nate Silver's tone of mighty overcorrection and go down with guns blazing?
Listen, the mustard man is on to something here. We should listen to epidemiologists, but perhaps not the ones that are afraid to speak up in case Trump fires them.
Never in American history--and I don't use this comparison lightly--have we been less prepared for a disaster and more inundated with the foolhardy opinions of wankers than we are right now. People who have zero experience, training, or credentials are writing opinion pieces seen by millions without any regard for the harm or disinformation they are spreading.
The coronavirus sure is dangerous, but what's more of a threat are the hacks and weasels who think they understand it better than the experts.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
—Halloween for the 99 Percent
Someone needs to check their privilege at the door and acknowledge that, when you argue that paying more in taxes means you shouldn't have to tolerate the presence of the poor, you're the scum of the Goddamned Earth.
Just so we're clear, lady--your taxes aren't anywhere nearly high enough to compensate for what a parasite you've become.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
There used to be a thing called a "warblogger."
Mainly, these were folks with a lot of information and little, if any, analytical experience. They knew the military, they knew something about strategy and games, and they figured that was enough to give them credibility when it came to speaking about how America was conducting itself in Iraq before the war was ended by the Obama Administration.
Some of these people went belly up when their wars wound down--there was nothing to blog about. Their audience shrank because they were a one-trick pony and hating Obama was already being done by people with more talent and skill.
This case is a bookend to the Iraq War, a verdict that should resonate for anyone who has ever been criticized by a warblogger or mocked for not knowing that Petraeus would never Betray Us.
How's your war looking now, son? Are you happy for the results? Did we accomplish everything you thought we would? Or did we just manufacture more enemies and create more Veterans than we could ever handle and did we cut loose a generation of mercenaries who simply had too many guns and too many brown skinned people to shoot?
The great blogger Kos actually served in the military, and his response when some Blackwater guards were left dangling off a bridge was to say, in effect, fuck these people. They were mercs and they were out for profit in exchange for sending rounds through bodies. These men inherited the fight, stepped up to the plate, and emptied their weapons into civilians. Fuck them, too,
We will be paying the price for the Iraq War for the next fifty or sixty years, and we will pay dearly for it, and no one will bother to go back and read the ranting and the raving of the cheerleaders for that war, except to have a good laugh and see what could be done about scrubbing the Internet clean of their filth.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
No surprise here. This is the lesson that people in politics never seem to learn--it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. Everything you think had gone away will always come back around and bite you in the ass. And anything that involves sex will be exposed because the American appetite for naughty news is insatiable:
As nearly two dozen Secret Service agents and members of the military were punished or fired following a 2012 prostitution scandal in Colombia, Obama administration officials repeatedly denied that anyone from the White House was involved.
But new details drawn from government documents and interviews show that senior White House aides were given information at the time suggesting that a prostitute was an overnight guest in the hotel room of a presidential advance-team member — yet that information was never thoroughly investigated or publicly acknowledged.
The information that the Secret Service shared with the White House included hotel records and firsthand accounts — the same types of evidence the agency and military relied on to determine who in their ranks was involved.
Jack Lew was the White House Chief of Staff when this happened. Covering up the involvement of the White House in this scandal probably went through him. If it did not, then you can plainly see why he did not hold the job for very long.
The Secret Service and the White House are locked in a struggle against one another. No one is well served by this and no one should mistake the impact this will have going forward. The rest of President Obama's turn in office will resemble siege warfare, and, in my opinion, the leaks that will involve this kind of activity will increase.
There is also an undercurrent of a cultural clash here. When you send Americans abroad, no matter how sophisticated they pretend to be, there is simply no way they can handle the customs and the practices found in other countries. We are still a Puritanical society and we bear the imprint made by a long-dead religious sect that flourished in New England on American customs and morals. This is why the Old West shocked people back east--it resembled the way the world still works in many places, with sex between adults treated like a retail transaction and with little regard for what made preachers uneasy.
The direct link to Puritanical values can be found when you laugh at the idea that the actor, Stephen Collins, should be the face of conservative family values. He once had the gall to criticize Jessica Biel for trying to have a viable career in Hollywood. He will likely never work again and the media elements at the level of TMZ will attempt to make the same buck that the Colombian prostitutes made when it was known that they were able to use the law to embarrass the government of the United States.
Everything can be traced back to hypocrisy and Puritan values that are outdated. No wonder the French still laugh at us.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
The failure here is not that Maureen Dowd cannot write; the failure is that, when Maureen Dowd writes, her ridiculously privileged life as a working member of the punditry gets in the way of common sense.
If you go to Colorado and do drugs, you will not come up with anything worth writing about it you've already made up your mind to warn kids of the dangers. Real people with a real life can tell you what drugs do and they don't need an old media bag of nuts to tell them otherwise. Ask a grandma on meth in rural West Virginia if she thinks being on a little weed in a hotel room is a bad thing and you might not like the answer. Kids don't care, kids don't follow, kids just wanna get high.
Friday, May 30, 2014
“To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan..."
Shinseki is gone:
In the end, even Eric Shinseki knew he had to go, President Barack Obama said Friday in announcing the resignation of his only Veterans Affairs secretary over a growing scandal involving sometimes deadly waits for care at VA hospitals.
Obama went before reporters shortly after meeting with Shinseki at the White House and said the retired Army general told him that "the VA needs new leadership" to address the widespread problems chronicled in new reports this week, adding that Shinseki "does not want to be a distraction" to fixing the situation.
"That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans, and I agree. We don't have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem," Obama said.
When the boss has to leave under a black cloud, it sends a clear message to the underlings--you're next. The reason why it makes sense for Shinseki to leave is because the greedy, incompetent administrators below him need to be washed out of the VA like the fleas and lice they are, clinging to their bonuses and their schemes to profit personally while failing America's burgeoning corps of Veterans.
That's why I called for him to quit or be fired--there's no other way to remove the terrible, terrible management below Shinseki's level at VA. Someone new, someone tough, and someone with a clear mandate to remove incompetence and fraud from the ranks has to be empowered to do so. Shinseki was not that man anymore.
I would think that many of those engaged in malfeasance would have the decency to retire or quit in the weeks ahead. Many of them won't. They will cling to their lifestyle and continue to do nothing to take care of Veterans. They will continue to ride out the clock. They should not collect any more bonuses, however, and every administrator paid a bonus over the last ten years who presided over a hospital with secret wait lists and things of that nature should be prosecuted for fraud. Their bonuses should be paid back and their retirement benefits should be irretrievably revoked.
The Department of Veteran's Affairs is about benefits, after all. I don't think anyone who screwed Veterans and got paid should be able to retire on a comfortable pension and with full health care. I think that they should be cast out into the real world where so many dying and sick and Veterans have lived since coming back from Vietnam and wherever else. They have had no safety net. They have seen the promises made to them turn into a blizzard of paperwork, crushed under the heels of people who don't care about them while making three figure salaries, getting eight weeks off a year, and being paid ridiculously inflated personal performance bonuses.
To them I would say, welcome to the reality you were charged with improving. Screw you. You're on your own.
This does not end with Shinseki. This ends when the frauds and the thieves who cost this man his job are scrambling to find someone to take care of them while they cope with the aftermath of their personal pity party. This ends when a former bigwig administrator from the Phoenix VA Hospital has to use Coinstar to pay for meds at a discount grocery store in the middle of nowhere.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Erick Erickson on Hillary Clinton:
While guest hosting Rush Limbaugh’s radio show on Tuesday, conservative pundit and Fox News contributor Erick Erickson offered what may ultimately be a preview of what we can expect to hear from the right if Hillary Clinton decides to run for president in 2016.
“I’m willing to admit I’m in the minority,” Erickson said. “I’m willing to admit I could very well be wrong; all of my Democratic friends are salivating [at the prospect of her running in 2016].”
Yet despite his Democratic friends’ saliva, Erickson said he wasn’t buying the idea that Clinton holds the advantage for 2016.
“She’s going to be old!” Erickson noted. “I don’t know how far back they can pull her face!” he added.
Here, you can clearly see that the Republicans have all of the ideas, all of the substance, and a heck of a good opening line for women voters. With an outreach and a rebranding effort like this, the Democrats will be lucky to win only 40 states in 2016. These guys have ten--ten!--states locked up already for maybe--maybe--a hundred electoral college votes.
Damn, it's going to be a rough ride ahead. How do you counter such a physically gifted, fit, handsome, healthy young man and all of his skills and abilities?
You don't! You just pray that you can survive, I guess.