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This tax cut will pay for itself!

[ 98 ] April 22, 2017 |

More leaderpship from the USA’s MAGAnate.

President Trump said he would release new details about his plan to overhaul the tax code on April 26, a sign that he is accelerating one of his most ambitious campaign promises even though key details remain very closely held.

As much as one can closely hold something that doesn’t exist.

“We’ll be having a big announcement on Wednesday having to do with tax reform,” Trump said Friday while visiting the Treasury Department. “The process has begun long ago but it really formally begins on Wednesday.”

Addressing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Trump said, “So, go to it.”

tRump’s management style in a nutshell – Walk into the room, babble, tell an underling to start doing something they’ve been doing in a terse word blurt, and then go play golf.

Earlier Friday, Trump told the Associated Press in an interview that the tax cuts he would propose would be “massive” and perhaps the biggest of all time.

Just like his yuge bigly hands.

Wednesday’s announcement isn’t expected to be a specific legislative proposal, but the plan is to provide more details than what the White House has issued so far, a senior administration official said.

Republicans set subterranean bar for themselves. Water is wet, fire is hot, and so on and so on.

If the tRump administration had any semi-demi-hemi competent people on board, I’d be open to the argument that announcing a new tax plan the same week Congress edges closer to another government shut down was some sort of crafty political theater. But it doesn’t, so I know this is just another example of Napoleorange deciding to play at being president for a few seconds.

Trump has said a big tax cut will boost economic growth, help companies invest, and lead to more job creation.

Republicans claim giving more money to people who already have most of the money will make the Invisible Hand rub a thick layer of money all over America. Deserts are dry, ice is cold, and so on and so on.

And now, the punchline.

Mnuchin said on Thursday that the tax cuts would essentially pay for themselves because there would be so much economic growth that it would bring in new revenue to the Treasury Department.

Just like the invasion of Iraq would pay for itself and the promised border wall would be paid for by Mexico.

I suppose if tRump’s attempts to force through funding for the wall doesn’t work out, the biggest tax cut ever in the history of tax cuts will include a Wall Tax.

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Old man shouts at Clinton. And people of color who are doing it wrong. (Avec brief anti-tRump interlude.)

[ 112 ] April 18, 2017 |

I’ve finally forced my way through Sullivan’s article that starts out being about Chelsea Clinton but ends with him abusing the Bell Curve gallus gallus domesticus for perhaps the 11 zillionth time in his life. The headline of the piece is Why do Democrats feel sorry for Clinton? But a more accurate headline would be Do you want to watch this over-paid, over-hyped and unoriginal Limey throw dried poo for several paragraphs?

I’ve done what I could in this space to avoid the subject of Hillary Clinton. I don’t want to be the perennial turd in the punchbowl.

Another tally mark under the Failure column.

I’d hoped we’d finally seen the last of that name in public life — it’s been a long quarter of a century — and that we could all move on. Alas, no. Her daughter (angels and ministers of grace defend us) seems to be positioning herself for a political career.

There’s a word for the sort of person who’d hang and article on his hatred of Hillary Clinton and an unsubstantiated rumor that her daughter might enter politics.

And Clinton herself duly emerged last week for a fawning, rapturous reception at the Women in the World conference in New York City.

A quick search indicates Clinton has been a regular speaker, but Sullivan seems to be infuriated by the fact that she dares show her face in public and that people don’t throw things when she does.

And so I find myself wondering at odd times of the day and night: Why is Trump in the White House? And then I remember. Hillary Clinton put him there.

And the wind, cries, Cool story bro.

He has no strategy beyond the next 24 hours, no guiding philosophy, no politics, no consistency at all — just whatever makes him feel good about himself this second. He therefore believes whatever bizarre nonfact he can instantly cook up in his addled head, or whatever the last person who spoke to him said. He makes Chauncey Gardiner look like Abraham Lincoln. Occam’s razor points us to the obvious: He has absolutely no idea what he’s doing.

Self-awareness, thy name is not Andrew Sullivan.

Do you know the real reason Dr. Dao was so brutally tackled and thrown off that United flight? It was all about white supremacy. I mean, what isn’t these days?

White supremacy, the fatuous chucklehead chuckles fatuously. White supremacy couldn’t have possibly influenced how the authorities treated Dr. Dao because he was selected at random for involuntary de-boarding by a computer program.

And everyone knows that the law and computer programs in thair majesty forbid men of color and white men alike from being knocked around by the police.

It’s easy to mock this reductionism, I know, but it reflects something a little deeper.

As deep as a bell curve.

Asian-Americans, like Jews, are indeed a problem for the “social-justice” brigade.

I have no idea who makes up the “social justice” brigade in the fever room inside his skull. Possibly he envisions a horde of people who look like Hillary Clinton. One can only speculate about what Sullivan would do if confronted with the fact that Jewish people or Asian-Americans form and take part in their own social justice organizations, but that might involve the difficult – perhaps impossible – task of getting him to understand that they are actually people.

As an aside, I’m not sure about how meaningful the term Asian-American truly is considering the huge and diverse number of cultures encompassed by the six syllables. It seems as informative as saying someone is from Africa. At any rate, Sullivan finishes the article – that started out as another anti-Clinton rant – with a rapid fire JAQ off session.

I mean, how on earth have both ethnic groups done so well in such a profoundly racist society? How have bigoted white people allowed these minorities to do so well — even to the point of earning more, on average, than whites? Asian-Americans, for example, have been subject to some of the most brutal oppression, racial hatred, and open discrimination over the years. In the late 19th century, as most worked in hard labor, they were subject to lynchings and violence across the American West and laws that prohibited their employment. They were banned from immigrating to the U.S. in 1924. Japanese-American citizens were forced into internment camps during the Second World War, and subjected to hideous, racist propaganda after Pearl Harbor. Yet, today, Asian-Americans are among the most prosperous, well-educated, and successful ethnic groups in America. What gives? It couldn’t possibly be that they maintained solid two-parent family structures, had social networks that looked after one another, placed enormous emphasis on education and hard work, and thereby turned false, negative stereotypes into true, positive ones, could it? It couldn’t be that all whites are not racists or that the American dream still lives?

It couldn’t be that discussing racism as though it is a specific set of behaviors that doesn’t change based on the victims and the attitudes of their oppressors is exactly the sort of intellectual slobbery that goes hand-in-hand with bigotry, could it?

Certainment.

But there’s a lot that’s conspicuously missing from this argument. Sullivan declines to mention that black people still face high rates of hiring discrimination because of their race; that black children continue to languish in segregated neighborhoods, where decades of racist economic and education policy have robbed their schools of resources and stripped their communities of the infrastructure to cope with the fallout; and that black fathers, on average, still manage to be among the most consistently involved in their children’s lives — despite that 1.5 million black men, including countless dads, are “missing” from daily life due to high rates of incarceration and early death.

But where Sullivan appears to be merely lazy, he is also boring. Blaming black pathology for racial disparities is one of the most tired tropes in American life. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the “Asians and Jews versus blacks” question back in 1966 — more than 50 years ago. The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates debated the topic at length with New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait in 2014. Coates explained how, after slavery ended in the mid-19th century, white northerners who came to teach in Southern schools had a similarly low opinion of black culture.

[…]

But perhaps the most remarkable thing about Sullivan’s argument is how these notions of black deficiency keep getting resurrected as if they are new and revelatory. Some of this explains the resurgent popularity of Charles Murray. More than two decades after Murray co-wrote The Bell Curve — a widely disputed book of social science that argued that black people are less intelligent than whites — he continues to get invited by conservative groups to speak at college campuses across the country.

An Easter message for (some) liberals

[ 457 ] April 16, 2017 |

The thing behind Ross Douthat’s face merkin has a very important message for some liberals: Go to church. Or else.

OUR intervention in Syria required me to be fully serious last Sunday, but now it’s time to return to this column’s ongoing series of implausible proposals, Easter Sunday edition. Which means I’ll be proposing — yes, I’m that predictable — that many of this newspaper’s secular liberal readers should head en masse to church.

Now that he’s recovered from the Seriousness required by the fact President Drippydiaper dropped a bomb on something, he’s not suggesting that non-Christians should go to church. He’s not acknowledging their existence. Instead he is focused on a subset of Christian Liberals.

A large share of well-educated liberal America is post-Protestant — former Methodists, ex-Lutherans, lapsed Presbyterians, the secularized kids of Congregationalists.

Citation missing, even after we checked under the sofa cushions, as is often the case with such assertions. However, Smart liberals have said adieu to Mainline Protestantism doesn’t seem like a promising start to an argument about why they should go to a Mainline Protestant church.

Their ancestral churches, the theologically-liberal mainline denominations, are aging and emptying, with the oldest churchgoing population and one of the lowest retention rates of any Christian tradition in the United States.

This at least is true, according to the 2015 Pew poll he cites. But so what? If people are no longer interested in a particular brand of anything including religion, including an ancestral religion, that would indicate a problem with the product, not the consumer.

Douthat doesn’t address that either. He’s too busy warning liberal ex-Protestants that if they don’t go to back to their ancestral churches they’ll be doomed with four Os and an accent over the e.

For the sake of their country, their culture and their very selves, liberal post-Protestants should find a mainline congregation and starting attending every week.

Because you see, Trigger the Golden Retriever of Liberalism needs the leash of Mainline Protestantism to keep it from chasing the Rabbit of The Discourse or (and/or?) hiding in the Kennel of Safe Spaces with its paws over its eyes.

One reason they don’t is that some of what those congregations offer is already embodied in liberal politics and culture. As the sociologist N. J. Demerath argued in the 1990s, liberal churches have suffered institutional decline, but also enjoy a sort of cultural triumph, losing members even as their most distinctive commitments — ecumenical spirituality and a progressive social Gospel — permeate academia, the media, pop culture, the Democratic Party.

But this equilibrium may not last, and it may not deserve to. The campus experience of late suggests that liberal Protestantism without the Protestantism tends to gradually shed the liberalism as well, transforming into an illiberal cult of victimologies that burns heretics with vigor.

It gets Douthatier from here as he tears up the tissue-thin pretense that he’s writing for anyone other than the people who regularly lose wrestling matches with same sort of straw liberals he does. There’s the

  • Hackneyed list of benefits of church going of the sort every wannabe proselytizer uses once he figures out that screaming about hell just makes people run away faster.
  • Claim that the straw liberals “pursue religious experiences,” minus the explanation of what that means or why the lapsed Mainline Protestant straw liberal can’t continue to pursue religious experiences in places that aren’t the MP church.
  • Obligatory reference to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because Christ what an asshole.
  • Pish-poshing of the LMPSL’s objections to “hierarchies and dogmas and strict rules about sex,” because “the Protestant mainline has gone well out of its way to accommodate you on all these points.”
  • Stunning proof that LMPSLs are mean and the churches are the real victims.

…aren’t you being a little ungrateful, a little slothful, a little selfish by leaving these churches empty when they’re trying to be exactly the change you say you wish Christianity would make?

Can a question beg be an actual question?

Also, yousa people gonna die.

I know you don’t worry about hellfire. But you do worry, presumably, about death: Would some once-weekly preparation really hurt?

Either Mainline Protestant churches have a lock on death preparation or Douthat is a tool and Mainline Protestant churches should consider paying him not to write about them, ever again.

And that’s Douthat struggling with lapsed-Mainline-Protestant-but-not-true-atheist straw liberals. At the end he turns his attention to lapsed-Mainline-Protestant-turned-hardened-atheist straw liberals, which he assembled from all of the bits of straw left over from constructing the LMPSLs, plastic Easter basket grass, and bile.

Finally, a brief word to the really hardened atheists: Oh, come on. Sure, all that beauty and ecstasy and astonishing mathematical order is because we’re part of a multiverse or a simulation or something; that’s the ticket. Sure, consciousness and free will are illusions, but human rights and gender identities are totally real. Sure, your flying spaghetti monster joke makes you a lot smarter than Aquinas, Karl Barth, Martin Luther King. Sure.

Just go to church, guys. The mainline churches’ doors are open. They need you; America still needs them.

Go to church morans! The power of Douthat compels you!

 

If the label reads Republican health care market stabilization, the box will not contain market stabilization

[ 53 ] April 14, 2017 |
CDC - Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–September 2016

CDC – Early release of estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January–September 2016

That’s the kind of certainty we can expect for the next four years.

The Trump administration released a final rule on Thursday aimed at stabilizing the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

The final version of the rule is largely unchanged from the proposed rule, which the administration released in February.

In a statement announcing the final rule, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma emphasized that the tweaked regulations are not an endorsement of the ACA.

“While these steps will help stabilize the individual and small group markets, they are not a long-term cure for the problems that the Affordable Care Act has created in our healthcare system,” she said.

People are avoiding ruinous debt and illness and enjoying better lives though improved access to health care! Health care providers, including hospitals, have more paying clients! Communities are benefiting from healthier members! And worst of all, billionaires are being deprived of additional tax breaks!

Perhaps slashing the enrollment period will hold back the horror of healthier Americans.

First, we are changing the dates for open enrollment in the individual markets for the benefit year starting January 1, 2018, from November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018 (the previously established open enrollment period for 2018), to extend from November 1 through December 15, 2017.

I hope politicians and organizations that support health care access have plans to advertise the enrollment period, because the current HHS has a vested interest in low enrollment numbers.

In other bad news, AHIP is OK with most of the final rule.

For its part, major trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans appreciates changes in the final rule such as tightening up rules for special enrollment periods, greater flexibility in product and benefit design and simplified administrative processes, spokeswoman Kristine Grow wrote in an emailed statement.

The good news: AHIP, is not a fan of Dick a l’Orange’s cunning plan to torch subsidies collect underpants force Democrats to make a deal pro???fi???t??? +++Redo from start+++

“However, there is still too much instability and uncertainty in this market,” she wrote. “Most urgently, health plans and the consumers they serve need to know that funding for cost-sharing reduction subsidies will continue uninterrupted.”

AHIP is one of eight organizations that co-signed a letter to tRump that spells out the consequences of his attempt to play Let’s Make a Deal with no contestants.

  • Choices for consumers will be more limited. If reliable funding for CSRs is not provided, it may impact plan participation, which would leave individuals without coverage options.
  • Premiums for 2018 and beyond will be higher. Analysts estimate that loss of CSR funding alone would increase premiums for all consumers – both on and off the exchange – by at least 15 percent. Higher premium rates could drive out of the market those middle-income individuals who are not eligible for tax credits.
  • If more people are uninsured, providers will experience more uncompensated care which will further strain their ability to meet the needs of their communities and will raise costs for everyone, including employers who sponsor group health plans for their employees.
  • Hardworking taxpayers will pay more, as premiums grow and tax credits for low-income families increase, than if CSRs are funded.

The other big one (Update)

[ 162 ] April 13, 2017 |
Massive Ordinance Air Blast - U.S. Department of Defense

Massive Ordinance Air Blast – U.S. Department of Defense

Dimperor tRump uses only the biggest most beautiful, orangest sex toys bombs.

The US military has dropped an enormous bomb in Afghanistan, according to four US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.

A GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, nicknamed MOAB, was dropped at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, the sources said.
The MOAB is also known as the “mother of all bombs.” A MOAB is a 21,600-pound, GPS-guided munition that is America’s most powerful non-nuclear bomb.

UPDATE BY ROB: Promoting this from comments; there is very little hard info, and so it’s very hard to say, but…

  1. There are tactical circumstances, even in Afghanistan, that would make the use of this weapon viable; large area with combination of above ground and shallow beneath ground structures.
  2. There are 1 mile radius circles of Afghanistan that contain no civilians. If an ISIS camp was located in one of these areas, then “war crime” is probably not useful terminology to describe.
  3. ISIS does appear to approach base development/construction differently than post-2001 Al Qaeda (or the Taliban, for that matter), so it’s not completely implausible that there was a real tactical justification for this weapon.
  4. This was not an MOP; that’s the penetrating weapon designed to destroy fortified, protected bunkers. An MOAB would be inappropriate for striking a fortified Iranian or North Korean structure, because it needs to be delivered by a non-stealthy cargo aircraft.

Real story is how little credibility the Trump admin has on these kinds of questions.

“Oh let me put you in your place”

[ 39 ] April 4, 2017 |

I’m not sure this is the response Andrew Bowen was looking for when he told Arab News to delete his articles.

Arab News regrettably announces that it will discontinue publishing articles by US columnist Andrew Bowen.

The reason behind this decision is the columnist insisting that this newspaper deletes previous articles dating back prior to the recent US election where he was in favor of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

Bowen, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has repeatedly requested the removal of these articles stating that this is needed for him “to be cleared” for what he claims to be a possible job with the new Donald Trump administration’s State Department.

Mr. Bowen also insinuated — verbally and in writing — that he will seek the support of influential friends and contacts to help remove the articles.

Arab News possesses all correspondence relating to this matter and its position is that such a request is unprofessional journalistically, particularly given that there were no factual errors or libelous comments that require a redaction or correction.

We wish Mr. Bowen the best of luck in his job application.

• Here is a link to Mr Bowen’s complete Arab News archive

We are surprised to discover this box labeled Radioactive Human Feces contains uranium-laced people poo

[ 173 ] April 3, 2017 |

The LA Times published the first of a four part series on the Abuser-in-Chief yesterday. Meh.

It was no secret during the campaign that Donald Trump was a narcissist and a demagogue who used fear and dishonesty to appeal to the worst in American voters. The Times called him unprepared and unsuited for the job he was seeking, and said his election would be a “catastrophe.”

Still, nothing prepared us for the magnitude of this train wreck.

If you don’t count all of the warnings, they had no warning.

Like millions of other Americans, we clung to a slim hope that the new president would turn out to be all noise and bluster, or that the people around him in the White House would act as a check on his worst instincts, or that he would be sobered and transformed by the awesome responsibilities of office.

The LAT’s combination of We told you so! and We didn’t know! will be funny once I get over the urge to shout at my computer. However, this isn’t the first time I’ve seen such sentiments expressed, I just think people who hold them should take a second to explain the basis for those hopes. Take the last slim hope: That this disgusting lying fuckwad who has had a lifetime of disgusting lying fuckwaddery rewarded with the most powerful position in the world, would take a look at the Desk Resolute and think I guess I’d better stop being a disgusting lying fuckwad.

Who the fuck acts this way? If instead of being a 70 year old asshole who’d just been put in charge of an entire country, tRump was a 17 year old asshole who’d just been given a shiny new Lamborghini, no one would bet a dollar on the car making it to its first scheduled oil change.

This is as good an example as any of why tRump is white supremacy’s greatest spokesmodel. The man is a waking nightmare. He’s a stupid, vain, mean white man who lies with the abandon of someone who knows he’ll never get in trouble for lying.

He struggles to complete a thought. He barely struggles to control his id. But people keep cutting him breaks he doesn’t deserve and holding out hope that this time, finally, he’ll behave. And then when he does something like speak in complete sentences for an hour, they stand up and applaud.

What is most worrisome about Trump is Trump himself. He is a man so unpredictable, so reckless, so petulant, so full of blind self-regard, so untethered to reality that it is impossible to know where his presidency will lead or how much damage he will do to our nation. His obsession with his own fame, wealth and success, his determination to vanquish enemies real and imagined, his craving for adulation — these traits were, of course, at the very heart of his scorched-earth outsider campaign; indeed, some of them helped get him elected. But in a real presidency in which he wields unimaginable power, they are nothing short of disastrous.

And yet it took the LA Times 70 days to reach the conclusion that maybe things aren’t going to work out that good.

On Inauguration Day, we wrote on this page that it was not yet time to declare a state of “wholesale panic” or to call for blanket “non-cooperation” with the Trump administration. Despite plenty of dispiriting signals, that is still our view.

Isn’t there a game were people take turns writing a sentence or two for a story and then reading the results? That’s how this piece reads. Trump is horrible! But let’s wait and see what he does. He’s already done a lot of stupid and destructive things. OK let’s wait and see.

The role of the rational opposition is to stand up for the rule of law, the electoral process, the peaceful transfer of power and the role of institutions; we should not underestimate the resiliency of a system in which laws are greater than individuals and voters are as powerful as presidents. This nation survived Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon. It survived slavery. It survived devastating wars. Most likely, it will survive again.

Where to start? Currently we have a system that put tRump in the White House even though the voters clearly wanted someone else in there. The system may well be teetering on complete clusterfuck. Knowing it is resilient in its fucked state isn’t a source of comfort. And on the topic of the power of the vote, if anyone thinks Republican governors won’t be working hand-in-glove with Jeff Sessions to disenfranchise more people, please get in touch to learn about a fantastic deal I have on a lightly-used unicorn.

Part the Second – Why Trump Lies, is much better. As the title indicates.

 

Business Insider tries to kick off the people’s revolution

[ 216 ] April 2, 2017 |

Not on purpose. What BI really did was run one of those Poor people could be wealthy if they’d get off their asses, articles. The purpose of such articles is not to make poor people roll up their sleeves and visit a little Ca ira on the aristos. Neither is it to help poor people improve their lives. The articles are meant to assure BI’s target audience that the minimum wage doesn’t need to go up, poor people just need to pull on those bootstraps, tighten that belt and sleep when they’re dead. At least until someone figures out how to get some work out of the dead.

Today’s infographic is from InvestmentZen, and it explains that even though accumulating wealth while living on minimum wage is extremely difficult, it is possible with some adjustments.

For example, people can adjust quite well to life with one kidney. Yes, it’s not technically legal to sell them in the U.S., yet. But with a little ingenuity you can find a way to come to an understanding with a wealthy person that results in one of your kidneys winding up in their body and some of their money winding up in your hand.

It’s easy to tell the article is going to be a doozy because the Visual Capitalist – which sounds like a totally legit occupation – who wrote the intro tosses in a caveat.

We think that this is an interesting premise for people of all income levels to learn from. That said, it’s also worth noting that this infographic assumes that the person on minimum wage is quite flexible with their living conditions and time. For a single parent or for someone supporting an ill family member, circumstances are considerably more difficult.

Or you’re part of a two-parent family but your partner or child can’t move. Or perhaps you’re not in the best of health and rely on friends or family members to care for you. But for everyone else it’s time to move, as the graphic in the Tweet up top indicates. The graphic also supports my theory that the folks at InvestmentZen gave zero thought to this little project beyond seeing how much condescending shit disguised as advice could be crammed into a set of graphics.

Start with the statement that people who earn a minimum wage and live in expensive cities can’t get wealthy, therefore they need to move to one of 10 cheap cities. Then consider the fact that IZ is headquartered in San Francisco and telling most of the people who make their lives livable to hit the road.

Leaving aside what would happen if everyone who earns minimum wage in an expensive city moved to one of the ten listed, telling a poor person that moving is the solution to their problems does nothing except announce that the person offering the advice will need a seat in a tumbril come the revolution.

Here’s telling a person on minimum wage to move with all the blanks filled in:

Without taking time off from your current job because you can’t afford it, get a job in the place you intend to move to. Then, still without taking time off, find a place to live. Acquire from somewhere the damage deposit plus first month’s rent and whatever it takes to turn on the lights, heat/AC, water. If necessary, find someone to sublet your current place. Then get a vehicle capable of holding you and your possessions and making the trip from where you live now, to Cheapsville. If you rent the vehicle you’ll have to find away to return it and get back to your new home, otherwise you’ll probably take a hit for the one-way trip. If it takes more than a day go get there, I guess you’ll have to sleep in the car or van. Bon Voyage!

And that’s assuming the person wants to move. IZ deals with people who might be reluctant to leave familiar surroundings, people or even a job they enjoy by asking them if they want to be wealthy, or make excuses? Well then.

There are nine more of these things. However, the full horror is at the link and I can’t take much more. But here’s some obligatory foodscolding.

Eat the rich. But only the free range ones.

Eat the rich. But only the free range ones.

It’s so nice of IZ to give people who earn minimum wage permission to eat dinner with the boss. That’s just as helpful and well considered as the advice to buy food in bulk after they’ve told people to get rid of their car, buy a bike and to move within biking distance of their place of employment. Better yet get a job at a grocery store and make a little living space out of shipping pallets!

There’s even an inspirational malnutrition anecdote. According to Musk, when he was 17 and living in Canada he decided to see if he could live on $1 of food a day for a month, and he did.

Presented as advice to poor people, the expurgated version of an anecdote that may well be true will really inspire the creeps who get off on monitoring the eating habits of poor people. Not only can they confidently assert that people can live on less than a dollar’s worth of food a day because Musk did; they can claim that poor people who insist on eating a dollar or more of food a day are gluttons who’d rather eat than become rich. Add some whining about their taxes and a few non-informed comments about diabetes, and they’ll probably need a brief nap to recover.

Garbage generation, or garbage journalism?

[ 149 ] April 2, 2017 |


As much as I might wish newspapers would just stop already, articles of the MILLENIALS WANT TO SUCK OUT YOUR BRAINS WHILE LISTENING TO SHITTY MUSIC! variety seem to be as common as the ones about research that shows wine/chocolate/coffee is good for you. I tend to give such articles a pass. However, I did enjoy this analysis of the NYT’s latest contribution to the overflowing recycle bin of Millenialmania articles.

There are few things more satisfying than finding another reason that millenials are the worst. They’re narcissistic, coddled, unpatriotic, racist, and nervous about free speech. And now, millennial men want a return to the nostalgic 1950s, with women in the kitchen, whipping up a nice quiche after a hard day on the line.

This is the story presented in Stephanie Coontz’s Friday piece in the New York Times, “Do Millennial Men Want Stay-at-Home Wives,” which reports on evidence from the Council on Contemporary Families (using the General Social Survey) and from sociologists Joanna Pepin and David Cotter (using Monitoring the Future).

The NYT article contains chart based on data from the 2014 GSS, which shows that 52% of men aged 18-25 disagreed with the statement “It is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the women takes care of the home and family.”

But the GSS just released their 2016 data this week. 89% of men disagree or strongly disagree with the statement “It is much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the women takes care of the home and family” – the highest rate among either men or women ages 18-25 in the GSS’s 40-year history. It’s also much higher than the rate reported by everyone older than 25, about 71%.

So is the story, “Clinton defeat inspires millennial men to gender equality”? Or more likely, “Garbage millennial men can’t make up their mind about women”?

I suspect it’s another, less sexy story: you can’t say a lot about millennials based on talking to 66 men.

The GSS surveys are pretty small – about 2,000-3,000 per wave – so once you split by sample, and then split by age, and then exclude the older millennials (age 26-34) who don’t show any negative trend in gender equality, you’re left with cells of about 60-100 men ages 18-25 per wave. Standard errors on any given year are 6-8 percent.

Another, other story: Given enough time and determination, a hack will find a way to hack some numbers into a bias confirming, click baiting article.

As an aside, newspapers keep bemoaning the fact that Thekidstoday don’t read newspapers like the Elder Ones. Then they publish articles about the shittiness of Thekidstoday. I assume this is a short-term plan to get page hits by trolling the hell out of them, until whatever generation is coming up next is old enough to troll.

???

Profit!

“Get them out!” Lawsuit alleging tRump encouraged violence against protestors will go forward

[ 48 ] April 1, 2017 |

April 1, 2016

Three people who claim they were attacked or subjected to racial slurs at a Donald Trump rally in Kentucky are suing the candidate and his campaign, alleging he encourages an atmosphere of violence.

The suit was filed Thursday on behalf of three protesters seen being pushed by angry crowd members at a March 1 Louisville rally.

[…]

Violence at Trump rallies, at least two of which involved audience members sucker punching protesters as they were being led away, have raised questions about whether the Republican front-runner’s speeches and tone are inciting supporters. Trump has denied that he condones violence.

◔̯◔

April 1, 2017

A federal judge in Louisville said in a ruling that then-candidate Donald Trump incited the use of violence against three protesters when he told supporters at a campaign rally a year ago to “get ’em out of here.”

U. S. District Judge David J. Hale of the Western District of Kentucky also wrote in an opinion and order released Friday that because violence had broken out at a prior Trump rally and that known hate group members were in the Louisville crowd, Trump’s ordering the removal of an African American woman was “particularly reckless.”

[…]

The protesters, Henry Brousseau, Kashiya Nwanguma and Molly Shah, are seeking unspecified monetary damages. They claim they were assaulted by audience members who were riled up by Trump. Besides Trump, the lawsuit names three defendants in attendance – Matthew Heimbach, a leader with the white supremacist group Traditional Youth Network from Paoli, Indiana; and Alvin Bamberger, a member of the Korean War Veterans Association from Ohio; and an unknown individual.

Disgust with the liberal elitist democratic big money machine drove the tRump supporters to assault two women and a teenage boy.

Trump’s lawyer, R. Kent Westberry of Louisville had argued that the suit’s allegations threaten fundamental constitutional protections by chilling political speech and that those accused of assaulting the three were not acting for or at the direction of Trump or the campaign.

The argument that a request – Get them out – is political speech failed. However, Hale did agree that President Punkinhead wasn’t vicariously
liable for his supporters’ behavior.

In other #CrookedestPresidentEver news, here’s A.G. Schneiderman’s statement on the approval of the $25 million tRump Un-iversity settlement.

“Today’s final approval by a judge of our Trump University settlement will provide relief – and hopefully much-needed closure – to the victims of Donald Trump’s fraudulent university. Trump University’s victims waited years for compensation, while President Trump refused to settle and fought us every step of the way – until his stunning reversal last fall.

“In particular, I am pleased that we were able to ensure that members of the class action settlement will receive an even higher settlement than originally anticipated.”

Holy water : Vampires :: Silver : Werewolves :: “Michael Flynn” : tRump

[ 31 ] April 1, 2017 |

Vice President Mike Pence, left, tries to stop President Donald Trump as he leaves before signing executive orders regarding trade in the Oval Office at the White House, in Washington, on March 31, 2017. (Photo: Andrew Harnik, AP)

Yesterday, a show of irresolution at the Resolute Desk

President Trump walked out on his own Oval Office signing ceremony without actually signing his two executive orders on trade.

Trump’s abrupt departure from Friday’s ceremony came after a reporter shouted questions about the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who has offered to testify before Congress on Russian involvement in the U.S. election in return for immunity from prosecution.

Follow the link for a video of Republican Presidented Person slinking away like Cecil Wormsborough St. John “Nobby” Nobbs when asked about the contents of the station’s tea kitty. If I saw that expression on a child’s face I would know he had destroyed something large and expensive. Like the entire kitchen.

White nationalism is bad but superdelegates are worse (Keep our trolls healthy update)

[ 588 ] April 1, 2017 |

Sen. Sanders steps up to the now quite exhausted Poulet of Trump Supporter Apologia and

Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don’t agree, because I’ve been there.

Certainly tRump’s supporters approved of his less-subtle-than-the-average-Republican-candidate’s supremacist rhetoric. Some of them have taken his victory as a sign that they can go out and commit a hate crime or three. But at the end of the day who are you going to believe, Sanders, or your lying eyes? After all, he’s been There. And you haven’t. Maybe. Sanders doesn’t say where the hell There is. It could be a bullshitty statement uttered to create an aura of credibility. Or perhaps he has at some point in his life voted for a crook and a bigot. But if he did, it was only because of the structure of the other candidate’s party!

Sanders went on to say that a “fundamental restructuring of the Democratic party” was needed to win future elections and that problems with party’s current setup is why many were quick to support Trump in the election, not because of some of the rhetoric on the campaign trail.

This is fantastic in the less common sense of the word. Sanders believes, or wants other people to believe, that there are in the country significant numbers of voters who were put off by the structure of the Democratic party – meaning they understood it – and its elitism. As a result – get ready for a really big leap – they had to support the Billion Dollar Bigot. Of course. And feminists are forcing otherwise harmless men to become Nazis.

We need a Democratic Party that is not a party of the liberal elite but of the working class of this country, we need a party that is a grassroots party, where candidates are talking to working people not spending their time raising money for the wealthy and the powerful,” Sanders said. “And when we do that, when we transform the Democratic Party, we transform America.

Update

I see some people are feeding the troll serious replies. Please remember that if the troll doesn’t get enough mockery, it gets very thin and its bones begin to stick out and its fins start to fall off. Or perhaps that’s goldfish and sausages. At any rate, I know it’s hard to resist those sad beady eyes, but serious replies will just make it constipated and sluggish. Thank you.

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