If I haven't seen it, it's new to me Open Thread

brutusettu's picture

Frontline's April piece on Investment Adviser Moochers.




Tokyo changes textbooks to emphasize claims to disputed islands. i.e. Modern day Manifest Destiny alive and kicking. 

Georgia's state legislature will call a certain body of water by its translated Korean name and not the Japanese name.  Virginia is considering giving both names in their textbook.




Budding young serial killer may have murdered some more in-laws. 

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Who to blame?


Media consumers who have no standards are part of the problem.


But executives of media orgs bear more blame. Surely there are non-ugly faces and nice, calm, semi-articulate voices who don't have Bill Kristol's record of disastrous predictions and commentary.


ABC News execs and the like not only aren't mainly trying to inform the public, they're not even thinking of ways to get ratings w/out hiring abject hacks.

Wow - Dylan Farrow in the NYT claims Woody Allen


sexually assaulted her when she was 7.

Ultimately, It Won't Matter To Allen

M Scott Eiland's picture

He's not going to prison for it, and between Hollywood's toleration of his icky behavior of twenty years ago and their continued embrace of convicted child rapist and refugee from justice Roman Polanski it won't hurt his career, either. Makes me kind of hope that the story about Frank Sinatra cuckolding him is true, though--as flawed a human being as Sinatra was, he was a saint compared to Allen.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

The Farrows embracing Polanski does not help them with


occupying the moral high ground.


Still, that piece is well written and has the ring of truth about it. No wonder Allen felt the need to respond.


I consider myself an Allen fan and I'm not done processing it. 

Tough Call


It has the ring of truth in it as much as Dylan clearly believes it. I find it plausible yet hard to believe.


I believe Woody capable of sleeping with any number of women of all consensual ages and perhaps a bit less as well, but a seven year old seems out of character, a physical child as opposed to merely a legal one. I know of no other cases or claims, yet child molesters usually pile up large numbers of victims over the years (think Michael Jackson or Catholic priests).


So to me it's possible, but she could also be a bit of a Salem witchcraft witness. We are talking about someone who was brought up by a mother who despises Allen, and who may well have been conditioned to believe the worst of intentions from innocent or ambiguous acts.


I'll say this though, if it is true, he should rot in jail and never make a movie again. All that matters to me is the truth here. Unfortunately I see no way to obtain it.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Metafilter discussion of the Dylan op ed


Good Stuff


This kind of tracks what I think. I remember the period well and remember that Mia Farrow was rather vicious in the legal proceedings. Neither the article nor my recollection let's Allen off the hook; that's impossible without inside knowledge.


However, there is a football field's worth of reasonable doubt here.


And, there is a clear problem with Mia herself being a certified hypocrite, since she authorized and reviewed the use of a clip featuring her for the very Golden Globes tribute her daughter found so brutally painful:

This one puzzled me. I thought it was odd to say the Globe tribute showed contempt for abuse survivors when Mia willfully participated in the festivities by expressly agreeing to the use of her clip, when she had every opportunity to decline. She certainly wasn’t pressured, and we had an alternative version of the montage (sans Mia) all ready to go in case she passed. It seemed Mia either wanted it both ways, or simply assumed no one would ever learn that she was complicit in the tribute.

That does not help her credibility much, does it?

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Was anybody else whiplashed


By the difference between the initial statement from Christie's office on the Wildstein letter, which tried to make it seem like Wildstein and Christie were pretty much in alignment and it was no big thing ("Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer confirms what the governor has said all along,") and the personal attacks in the email just leaked to Politico? It's almost like something happened in the interim where they became convinced that they couldn't bring him back into the fold, and all they could do now is discredit him.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Wildstein's not saying anything we haven't, the mendacious liar


I haven't seen anyone else mention that about face -- good catch.

Philip Seymour Hoffman has passed,


dying of an apparent drug overdose.


He first came on my radar in the mid-late 90s with a cameo in Hard Eight, and supporting roles in Boogie Nights, The Big Lewbowski, Happiness, and Magnolia. He worked with the best directors and it's obvious why they wanted to work with him.


I haven't seen all his major films, but my favorite performance of his was in Synechdoche, New York. The man had layers of nuance. 


Last week I watched A Late Quartet, a fine movie in which he plays a second violinist who's struggling with his marriage and place in one of the world's foremost string quartets. I felt connected to the guy. He was 46.



That's awful

HankP's picture

he was a great actor. He never took the easy, hackneyed approach to a role, no matter how minor.


I blame it all on the Internet

Among the finest, at least IMO


His death is a real cultural loss to America.

Huge, Monster Loss


Just an amazing guy.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

A real tragedy

Jay C's picture

Young (I was surprised to see PSH was only 46: thought he was older), superbly talented, AND leaving behind a family.

 Sad all around....

I like this photo of PSH


So now that CHristie's officially toast


can Democrats talk about not playing defense with centrist corporate types against the group of remaining right wing losers?


Dear Democrats, 


Overall the country is in decline because of excessive economic conservatism.


Hillary Clinton is too conservative to reverse this decline, she will only manage it more slowly.


Given the D's demographic advantage and the GOP still in disarray, now is an excellent time to risk electing someone who might actually improve living standards for the majority. 


Please consider that when you vote in 2014 and especially when you vote in the 2016 presidential primary.


Yours truly,







We deserve more than that.  Name some names and let us rip 'em up.

Warren? Schweitzer?


The idea is to get an "anyone but Hillary" meme started so someone {likely) to her left throws their hat in the ring.

You'll have to do better than that

HankP's picture

I like Warren, but she has very little political experience. Schweitzer probably isn't as left as you think. Either one would have an incredibly hard time getting any kind of institutional support against Clinton.


I blame it all on the Internet



We are in a bind. I really don't like Hillary but I don't see anybody viable to campaign against her if she runs. She will have more money than God, and it is fair to say the campaign will be better run this time around. I'm guessing she will inherit Obama's team essentially.


It will be strange. Christie was dangerous but I don't see any other GOP candidate who passes even basic smell tests.


Yet, Hillary could easily sink her own ship late in the cycle with a major gaffe. Then we would be in a world of hurt.


There is something eerie about 2016 looking to be so deterministic so far out. It sends shivers up my spine. My consolation is that the date is still far away. Ish.



I rule!

A long way to go


There are 29 Republican governors,  and the majority of them have not yet been involved in national-newsworthy scandals or gaffes.  Those that are up for re-election in 2014 will gain stature if they defeat credible looking Democrats.


The same goes for the Democrats.   Also,  Clinton would be turning 70 in her first year in office.  It's possible she'll decide to retire.


And as Hank pointed out, it's possible to go from state senator to POTUS in 4 years.  There are more than a 1000 state senators out there.


"It's possible she'll decide to retire"


I'd take a wager against that possibility.

It's usually like this

HankP's picture

Things happen, they always do. Obama was the longest of long shots 8 years ago.


I blame it all on the Internet

No, He Wasn't


He was a bit of a premature candidate but had a high profile in the 2004 convention. Support of the war was a huge problem not only for Hillary but for many others. Obama had no baggage. He was thus "clean", eloquent, and equipped with a great origin story neatly canonized in "Dreams From My Father".


He was a plausible candidate almost from the start. Longish shot, but not "longest of long shots" by any means.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

Schweitzer is likely significantly to the left of Hillary


and re: Clinton v. Warren if the choice is between someone experienced who won't reverse America's decline and someone inexperienced who will at least try, I don't think the choice is too difficult.

How's he


to the left?   In favor of harsher penalties for drug offenders,  supporter of the death penalty,  talks about tax relief for small business. 


Not much of the inequality rhetoric as far as I can tell,  which makes it a mystery to me why you singled him out.


He does talk about single-payer,  but the detailed plan seems to be to let anyone buy into Medicare if they want to,  which is pretty far from what most people mean by single payer.  


I'll concede that he seems to be fairly strongly anti-war,  which maybe outweighs everything else.



He's from Montana...


He had to get elected there, so he's not going to be a fire-breathing lefty. This single-payer thing is an interesting play, because it instantly gives him some cred with the left on a topic he doesn't have to align with his state record.

"I don't want us to descend into a nation of bloggers." - Steve Jobs

Then the left is easily fooled.


Letting people buy Medicare as an option is something even some soft-core libertarians could support,  and is not single-payer by any means.




Letting people buy Medicare is actually closer to what the left (the lucid part of it, anyway) wants than the ACA, tailored for the insurance industry, is.


Of course, in you caricature view, the left wants to force people to march into FEMA camps and so on. But the real left in the US is pretty libertarian as it is. The main non-trivial difference seems to be that the left doesn't trust private corporations and government while libertarians only mistrust government.

I am not a pessimist. I am an incompetent optimist.

A medicare buy-in and single payer aren't all that different


Since the health insurance industry's fears that they can't compete with very efficient pubic insurance appear entirely warranted. 


What you'd have then is the collapse of the top-heavy, skimming and grifting, private health insurance system and its replacement mostly by public insurance.


Throw in some subsidies for low income folks and you have something fairly close to single payer.

And yet it was much too far left for the D party establishment


I'm sure you recall what happened when the left wanted private insurance to compete with a public option in even a tiny portion of the healthcare market.

It was single-payer I had in mind


I didn't realize his plan included only a medicare buy-in, but that's still significantly to the left of what Obama supported. He's also been outspoken about civil liberties and as you say cutting defense. I caught him talking about inequality and praising deBlasio as well.


Gun laws and the death penalty aren't important to me, but increased drug penalties and cutting taxes are bad, and in general I'm not sure the pluralistic Democratic base thinks it's a plus to have a red state white guy to represent them...  


HankP's picture

you threw his name out without knowing his positions? Sloppy, catchy, very sloppy.


But you did highlight a problem with the Dems right now - they have a shallow bench. I don't see a lot of governors or senators that would really appeal nationally.


I blame it all on the Internet



as in - who knows for sure what he'll do once in office regardless of what he says now.


The professional liars we know as politicians always seem to skew pretty hard to the right of their campaign rhetoric once they're in office, regardless of which party they're in.

You hear the same thing

HankP's picture

repeated ad nauseum and in much stronger terms like "traitor" from the rightie blogs. I think the problem is that a lot of people think that an individual politician can do a lot more than they actually can do, at least without massive public and legislator support. Of course, extensive gerrymandering has allowed lots of crazies into politics.


I blame it all on the Internet

A bigger problem is that


too many Democrats have been convinced that the office of the presidency is much less powerful than it is.


It wasn't that attitude that pressured Obama into recently taking some modest steps he could've taken 5 yrs. ago. And people who haven't accepted that excuse from the Obama crowd can claim partial credit if Obama takes further actions.


The left has been focusing on the "progressivism that bypasses COngress" route for some time.


E.g., this week there's pressure on Obama to allow the Post Office to offer basic banking services.

An example of Ds being misinformed about presidential powers


Obama lying about his ability to reschedule marijuana to NBC's Jake Tapper two days ago:


[TAPPER] Or are you considering not making marijuana a Schedule One narcotic?

OBAMA:  Well, first of all, what is and isn’t a Schedule One narcotic is a job for Congress.  It’s not…

TAPPER:  I think it’s the DEA that decides…

OBAMA:  It’s – it’s not – it’s not something by ourselves that we start changing.  No, there are laws under – undergirding those determinations…

TAPPER:  Would you support that move?

OBAMA:  But the broader point, I stand by my belief, based, I think, on the scientific evidence, that marijuana, for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge.


If it has been a central play in any previous president's playbook to constantly pretend he's powerless over so many areas that are under exec control, I can't recall it.

That's Not How To Do It

M Scott Eiland's picture

"Look, HRC had less baggage six years ago than she has now, and Obama still beat her like a red-headed stepchild in spite of never having to wage a serious national campaign before (no, beating Alan Keyes wasn't a "serious" campaign). Do we *really* want to go through all the crap inherent in trying to put the Clintons back in the White House, give the Republicans all the pre-loaded, pre-prepared attack ads for whoever their candidate is to use--or maybe do you think we should try someone who isn't associated with either Clinton *or* Obama to try to break this eight years in, eight years out cycle?"

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

That's an electability argument, and Clinton wins that one


The media has decided that centrists are, for all time, more electable.


That's probably harder to overturn than people's reluctance to roll the dice, given that standards of living are falling for the majority.


M Scott Eiland's picture

She seemed to have that argument won in 2008, but she lost, right? Why does she get to make that argument again after losing to a neophyte and picking up eight more years of baggage?

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

in 2008 I think Democrats


knew that fundamentally the country was on the wrong track, that the GOP was discredited, and they were willing to gamble a little.


My point is that the GOP brand isn't nearly as discredited today, but their pool of candidates is very weak, and Ds have picked up even more of a demographic advantage the past 8 yrs.


Also, Clinton serving as Sec of State is only "baggage" in right wing fever swamps, most of the rest of the country considers this desirable experience. 

Harvard/CUNY: 7000-17,000 additional deaths predicted


in the 25 states refusing to expand Medicaid coverage.  

712,037 fewer diagnoses, and treatment, of depression

240,700 additional people suffering "catastrophic medical expenditures"

422,553 diabetics not receiving medication

195,492 fewer mammograms

443,677 fewer pap smears

But hey, you know, government is the problem.

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Republicans are being evil


I don't see any reasonable disagreement on the point.

We didn't lie, we were lied to. We simply retailed the lie.


Another one bites the dust. Another one bites the dust.


Another one gone and another one gone, 

Another one bites the dust


It's to the point where you have to assume anything that becomes a meme in Republican circles is orthogonal to the facts until proven otherwise. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes


M Scott Eiland's picture

It's what the president does with the executive orders, not the sheer number of them. Unless we're in for a Sniper Grandma logic moment where FDR was locked in a titanic struggle with the congressional supermajority of his own party for twelve plus years.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Hey, I don't make up conservative memes,


I just watch in embarrassment for my country, wishing there were an idiocy-cancelling frequency that could at least be used to jam signals at the border. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

No--Just Pass On TPM's Distortion Of One

M Scott Eiland's picture

Which is fine--watching TPM pass on crappy and badly labeled historical "research" is its own reward.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Why do the Super Rich keep comparing Obama to Hitler?


Very funny piece in The Atlantic:


The tipping point might have already come and gone. America as they know it, a land where everyone dreams and can make it big if they work hard and have the right parents, is gone. The 1 percent knows America is now a nation of takers. Obamacare pushed them over the edge from Social Darwinism into dependency. Indeed, as Mitt Romney courageously pointed out, 47 43 percent of Americans only pay federal payroll, not income, taxes. This near majority that's falling as the economy recovers will soon become a majority. Then the populous will vote themselves more and more benefits, and tax the rich more and more to do so. Just as Ayn Rand predicted.



I see that mistake all the time in, say, youtube comments or facebook. Weird to see it in a professional journal. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

you know what?


i was ready to read that as a basic grammatical error as well, but i think they actually mean "the populous" as in "the majority."


it's particularly clumsy in that it can easily be confused for it's homonym, which would also make sense in that context, and its terrible writing IMO. but there exists a possibility that they are using the word "correctly."

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

"Populous" is an adjective. It can only be an adjective.


It's a common misspelling for "populace" because of the words' homophony, but there's no correct way to say "the populous" unless it's followed by a noun. The populous city. The populous island of Hong Kong. The populous Baldwin family.




I had to give up the "you've got another think/thing coming" debate owing to a dumb mistake becoming widely attested, and I am NOT giving up on this one.  



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

On The Contrary

M Scott Eiland's picture

It is most notably a noun.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Played that back in the day. I always wondered


if the developers meant the title as a noun. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

forehead vein fight!


Even in the sentence to which you object, the phrase "the rich" is used in the same way, to modify an implied noun ("people").


We use adjectives and leave out nouns all the time when they are implied, right?


"after 10 hours, the search for the missing was called off?"


its not great but is it wrong?


again, i think its clumsy, its not a usage anyone ever sees... i but i think that *may* be what they were shooting for. i don't think they simply misspelled "populace." surely by now pedants such as ourselves would have brought it to their attention and a correction issued.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

The problem with your reading is that there's no implied noun.


If you say "Which tie do you like? I think I'll go with the red," it's utterly clear what noun you're implying in the second sentence. Same if you say "the missing" or "We're here to honor the dead" (the latter expression is so common that the adjectives "the living and the dead" are widely understood as notional nouns.  


But when they write

Then the populous will vote themselves more and more benefits, and tax the rich more and more to do so. 

there's no clearly implied noun. Ask yourself: the populous what? The populous country? The populous electorate? The populous 99%? The populous electoral majority? None of those seem like a natural or obvious reading of the line as written. 


If they said something like "Counties are not all the same. Depopulated ones get all the handouts while the populous go begging," that might work, although it's still awkward partly because the word itself is rarely used. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes



you're probably right. i guess i would just rather believe it is terrible but intentional writing than a grammatical error.  


edit: one last attempt to convince you this is truly bad writing and not just a dumb mistake:


This near majority that's falling as the economy recovers will soon become a majority. Then the populous will vote themselves more and more benefits, and tax the rich more and more to do so.

highlighted the nouns that i believe are implied in the second sentence. and it even (kinda) makes sense when you consider that the writer's point is that the putatively self-dealing populace is becoming more populous.




“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Must. Not. Lose. Composure.



I can see how that might have been the writer's intention, but if so they couldn't have more thoroughly kneed grammar in the crotch in their attempt. So you're left with the choice between a common spelling error, or a horrendous attempt at a nominal adjective. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Now I know what it's like to be pinned down by


blue-on-blue crossfire. (Not really.)  



"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Jordan is correct, nilsey and Manish should know better

HankP's picture

"populous" is an adjective and was used incorrectly. When you have to start imagining things that aren't there in order to justify a writer's grammar, just give up. They made a mistake, most likely an auto spell checker that only checks spelling but not grammar.


nilsey's just stirring the pot, but Manish should know better. He probably had better instruction in English grammar than all of the rest of us put together.


I blame it all on the Internet

you sure about that?


that sentence does seem to be pitting the rich against the populous.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw


HankP's picture

and I'm immune to your pot-stirring, because no one is better at that than I am.


I blame it all on the Internet

Hold on. Populace is the entire set.

mmghosh's picture

The "scroungers - A" and the "hardworkers -B" are the two subsets.  When A has a greater population (more populous) than B, then they vote benefits for themselves etc etc. To contradict Jordan (with extreme respect), populace would be the wrong usage here as it would imply the entire population,  when, as nilsey points out, he merely meant subset A - the more populous one.


Then the populous (subset) will vote themselves more and more benefits, and tax the rich more and more to do so.


Conveys the meaning, I think, that the writer intended.


Then the populace will vote themselves more and more benefits, and tax the rich more and more to do so.


Doesn't convey the same meaning.  Unless you mean that the majority is the populace (in the sense of ownership).    

BTW, It doesn't seem a particularly horrendous attempt.  If you want horrendous, I will diary (ugh?) the way English is used here (and you lot had better get used to it in the Asian century).  And HankP, you are incorrect, I just have more experience of living in Bizarrostan (not that I'd live anywhere else).


HankP's picture

poor writing. FYI, several of the on line dictionaries have an entry for "confused with" or "misspelling of" and they all list populace. They're homonyms, so that's to be expected. But your grammatical arguments are far less convincing than the idea that it was a simple misspelling.


I blame it all on the Internet

If the writer of The Atlantic piece doesn't see the error

brutusettu's picture

even after it's pointed out, then he's kind of the dense (subset of might have picked the wrong profession or allows old school Matt Yglesias proof read).



"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

We agreed above that it's possible


to use the word "populous" as a nominal adjective. But in order to do so, you have to clearly indicate the implied noun "populous" is modifying. Like this: "Among developing countries competing in the export manufacturing arms race, the populous tend to win." There are more idiomatic ways to say the same thing, but at least here the language has clearly signaled that "populous" is meant to be read as a subset of developing countries. (It would still seem more natural to my ears to write "the populous ones" probably because this usage is far from idiomatic, and the potential confusion with populace lingers no matter how well-constructed the sentence is.) 


If the writer had clearly indicated two subsets of people, the way you did, so that your implied noun in parentheses is unmistakable, then we wouldn't be having this absurd argument and the grammar nazis never would have risen to power in this subthread. The fact that you had to rewrite the paragraph to clarify the author's meaning is evidence that the original (<-- live demo of a nominal adjective)  is poorly written if not ungrammatical. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

The Socialist Response to Obama's SOTU


From Seattle's Socialist City Council-member ... imagine if this were the response broadcast by the networks ...

The boilerplate invective, begging the question stuff


(i.e. Wall St. criminals) is hard to take seriously. She speaks of many things that may be true, as if they are true. She identifies problems: disappointment with the President and his policies, alarm at growing income inequality and apparent impunity for the people who most directly caused the Great Recession. But she doesn't identify solutions, and doesn't show much awareness for or concern to know how those problems came to be, why their solution is difficult, or how those difficulties might be overcome. She thinks policies should be different, but she offers no meaningful path towards making her preferred policies a reality. "We need a break from capitalism," is real neat and everything... but what the hell does it mean? How do you do it? How do you turn off the economy and build a new one? Organizing a third party is fine, but going against the two major parties requires media dollars, fundraising, education, staffing, experts in campaigning, polling, legislation, regulation, the courts, and you need more of all of the above the more your rivals become dedicated to your defeat... in other words, it takes capital. There isn't a universe in which it doesn't take capital to win high office. There's no possibility that you can win over a ruling majority without being beholden to a collection of interests that help deliver that majority. She's dreaming if she thinks Seattle City Council politics are going to play in Peoria, or that scruffy kids with signs are going to make the transition to professional campaign managers and legislative aides without finding that one way or another, they have to play the game.


I don't like being hectored in hackneyed phrases from the 1930s. BROTHERS and SISTERS it is time for ACTION! We must RISE UP and defeat the CAPITALIST CRIMINALS. Bleh. Try talking like real people.  


All of which said, it is time to push left. Republicans and the Washington media probably assume there's going to be a swing back towards the right this year, and in 2016. In fact the exact opposite could happen and, frankly, needs to happen. Reaganomics is a husk, its premises about fiscal and economic policy, social policy and regulation all resoundingly disproven through several decades of real-world implementation. It's time to sweep it off the road. And push hard for some real solutions to the problems our asinine allegiance to that experiment has created.  


I just don't think peddling copies of the Socialist Worker counts as pushing hard. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Yes, good analysis, Jordan

Jay C's picture

I think this one excerpt:


But she doesn't identify solutions, and doesn't show much awareness for or concern to know how those problems came to be, why their solution is difficult, or how those difficulties might be overcome. She thinks policies should be different, but she offers no meaningful path towards making her preferred policies a reality.

is as neat an encapsulation of the fundamental flaw of left-wing (vs. merely "liberal") politics. And a flaw which, after what? a century? still crops up to be a constant monkey-wrench in the gears of Progress. *Sigh*


But I'm not so sanguine about the (immediate) longer-term political prospects as you seem to be: I think you are exactly right about the necessity to finally shoot Zombie Reaganomics in the head: but unfortunately, the Right in this country seldom relies on purely economic factors to boost its political leverage. "Social issues" * are just as important a selling-point to a large swath of the electorate, and (unlike the dollars-and-cents minutiae of fiscal policy) appeal mainly to emotion, rather than rationality. Which is a lot easier of a concept to get across.



*"Social issues" to today's Right, AFAICT, seem to be mainly based on racial prejudice and sex-obsessed misogyny, dressed up in self-righteous religiosity: or, more exactly, Serious Upset that said bigotries are no longer the common currency of our sociopolitical culture. YMMV, of course...

All good points, although in defense of my sanguine


outlook, fiscal matters become a much more emotional issue when people are unemployed and/or can't pay the bills despite working their asses off. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes



yeah, i couldnt watch more than a couple of minutes of it.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Nice analysis.  I think you


Nice analysis.  I think you are right about an upcoming "rightward" swing.  That seems predicated on trends that are not in evidence.  The TP is losing its grip on the GOP pretty quickly.  The "1%" (really the 0.01%) are scared for good reason -- their ability to guide the narrative is slipping.

I have lots of faith in the ability of the 0.01%


to terrify, bamboozle, bribe and outright lie their way back into a slender majority. Ask any con artist, no mark is easier to fleece than a temporarily embarrassed millionaire who believes a change in their fortunes is always right around the corner. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Yes, as it has always


Yes, as it has always been.


I'm just pointing out that the liberals have been pretty effective at spreading the income/wealth disparity message over the past 5 years.  It is true and resonates, finding its way into popular culture often these days.  The Occupy movement did serve its purpose but they aren't really needed anymore to advocate this idea.



It certainly couldn't hurt to have a protest on TV every time Jamie Dimon gets a raise to remind folks who got bailed out and who got sold out, etc.

I thought Rudy wasn't running in 2016


"It's fifty-fifty" whether Christie knew about GWB lane closures, says Giuliani.

Department of Things Republicans Keep Getting Wrong:


WellPoint is reporting that Obamacare signups to-date have exceeded expectations

Joseph Swedish, CEO of WellPoint, told investors that the company had received 500,000 applications through HealthCare.gov and its state-operated counterparts. He said the number was "ahead of our most recent projections."  

Of course there's always the concern troll talking point about the Young Invincibles: what if older, sicker enrollees swamp the insurance pools and drive premiums up next year? Then surely Obamacare will be a catastrophic failure. Surely. But nah. 

As for the demographic make-up of those enrollees, which will be one of the critical barometers for Obamacare's success, Swedish said that the numbers were "tracking closely with expectations." The Obama administration's original goal had been for close to 40 percent of enrollees to be under 35, but the initial breakdown reported this month showed about 24 percent fell in that age group.  

Lower than official projections, yes, but then we get this interesting comment:  

That might not be a major problem for insurers, though, as Swedish said that WellPoint had priced its products expecting its Obamacare enrollees to be older than its existing customers.

Everyone hearing this? Insurers have already priced a more pessimistic beneficiary mix into their premiums. That may well explain some of the sticker shock some people are having. But it also, interestingly, represents the possibility that premiums could go lower in subsequent years once the Young Invincibles start coming aboard. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

The Dodgers Tempt Fate

M Scott Eiland's picture

And they're taking their ageless symbol along for the ride. God have mercy on them, because that continent has none.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Some physicists are claiming


to have come up with a magnetic monopole,  in a paper published yesterday.


If true,  a lot of basic-level physics and engineering textbooks will need revision to include magnetic charge in Maxwell's equations.  Advanced level books often already include magnetic charge as a mathematical possibility (physics) or useful fiction for equivalent circuits (engineering).

From reading the summaries

HankP's picture

what they actually claim is that they made a quantum simulation of a magnetic monopole. My physics isn't good enough to figure out if that means it can occur in nature or not.


I blame it all on the Internet

Should I be prepared in case gravity reverses itself?


Or what does this mean for people whose grasp on the cliff-edge of physics is having its fingers stepped on by the white patent leather wingtips of incompetence? 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Dear Christie apologists:


You were saying?  

Aaccording to newly obtained emails sent among the participants, the first topic of discussion on the agenda was “review of concepts for flood control measures at Rockefeller property,” a reference to a billion-dollar office complex proposed at the north end of town. 

which adds credence to how

Ms. Zimmer, a Democrat, has alleged that during that visit, while in the parking lot of a Shop-Rite supermarket, Ms. Guadagno, like the governor a Republican, told her that the Rockefeller project was important to Mr. Christie and that the mayor needed to “move forward” with it if she wanted Hoboken to receive the flood protection money being distributed in the wake of the hurricane.

Christie 2016 is toast. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It Certainly Doesn't Help. . .

M Scott Eiland's picture

. . .but we already knew that Christie's subordinates were abusing their power--this doesn't establish Christie was *directly* involved. But yeah, he was toast as soon as the first emails came to light.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Unless he's a complete idiot or had someone on-staff


wearing a wire, we'll probably never have a direct link to Christie himself. His staffers, however, appear to have been operating with Mickey Mouse-level opsec when it came to emails and leaving a digital paper trail. Tells you something when they appear to believe they were untouchable.  


Anyway, 3-4 substantiated corruption stories and you're left with nothing but bad options: either Christie himself ordered them to operate this way (seems most likely), or he's got a habit of cluelessly hiring crooks he has no ability to control. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

The Latter, More Or Less

M Scott Eiland's picture

Which is why he will progress no further.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Harry Reid: Secret Republican

M Scott Eiland's picture

Opposing Obama, therefore Republican, therefore evil and a threat to the Republic itself. Quod erat demonstrandum.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Rachel Maddow, much of MSNBC, now Republicans!!1

brutusettu's picture

side note, call me crazy, but "free trade" seems like a misnomer. 


and back to hotair


Special interest groups like (sic), (American Humans That Work At Jobs In The USA, they don't like *free trade*)

If there's something in the link in the link about Obama blaming the GOP on this particular issue then I missed it. 


Maybe Erika Johnsen just forgot to post anything that remotely backed up her claim?


Which makes it a damn shame that the White House doesn’t really seem willing to push Democrats on getting on board. Because, Republicans! Wait…?


The closest thing I saw is Obama didn't lead from the leadership position by actively telling cameras to push the "free trade" agreements through, there has only been people in the Obama administration that have told cameras to pass the bills.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Congratulations, Mark Murray!

M Scott Eiland's picture

Your well-documented efforts in "servicing" The Chosen One win you the Presidential Edition Kneepads/Bib set.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Bad Framing from Overly focusing on the POTUS during the SOTU?

brutusettu's picture

It's definitely a bit weird to phrase it that way when one person volunteered to be put in harms way and sustained severe injuries from it, while anther person volunteered to age 30 years in the last 5, has received untold number of death threats (from Americans), al qaeda wants him dead, other groups want him dead, some secret servicing might have something to do with the failure of those threats to come to fruition.


Also let's not forget Murray seems to also have fellated America in general, which probably includes Americans that haven't done merde to get put in harms way, but he still fellated them too nonetheless. 


"War casualties story, wasn't just a story about America?"  Give me a break.  America doesn't need serviced.

"Jazz, the music of unemployment."


Frank Zappa

Why anyone sees Obama as anything other than


a mild-mannered somewhat pointy-headed center-right technocrat has been a mystery to me since 2008. I support him because a) his politics are pragmatic fusion of the visionary with the achievable given the rightward lean of the country, and b) he's a breath of fresh air after the catastrophic incompetence of the Bush years.  


Seriously, Republicans have managed to set the bar so low (not just right, but low-right... this is a party that has deliberately elevated incompetence to a virtue), that I'm happy to have a guy who doesn't lean much further left than Reagan on a lot of issues. Just the fact that he's willing to think things over before taking action is a stark difference from the starboard side of the aisle. I mean, you've got me praising basic, C minus, marginally acceptable competence as a sign of revolutionary change. What can I say other than well done?

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes



i think about just noting all these homoerotic fellatio fantasies... they seem to crop up so often.. but who has that kind of time?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

No One

M Scott Eiland's picture

Keeping track of all the "objective" media members who are in the tank for Obama and who embarrass themselves demonstrating it is an enterprise that would make Raymond Babbitt say "can't count that high."

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.



your comment (and many previous ones) are presenting the fantasies of people "servicing" obama.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Posting Rules

M Scott Eiland's picture


The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

oh really?


how is it a violation of posting rules to note that you are presenting homoerotic fantasy  in your comments?


did i misread "servicing the Chosen One" and "kneepads and bib set?"  was there some more innocent interpretation i am missing?

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Posting Rules -nt-

M Scott Eiland's picture


The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

It comes close to the line of comment vs. commenter


but I'm allowing it.


(Although I'm willing to be persuaded if a fellow mod disagrees.)

Right On!


And it feels great!

I rule!

How's this working for ya?



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

2014's GOP looks like 2012's


huckabee is today's front runner after saying right wing stuff that turns the rest of the country off. 


The GOP is still in disarray, it's an absurd time for Ds to be playing it safe with centrist candidates.

I Heartily Endorse This Message!

M Scott Eiland's picture

"Warren/Sanders For President/VP 2016--We're Confiscating It And We're Confiscating It All: All Your Stuff Are Belong To Us." Sounds like a winner.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

Be careful what you ask for

HankP's picture

a few more of these and a couple of these and you never know what might happen. Look how well it worked last time.


I blame it all on the Internet

True Fact: we could confiscate an additional trillion dollars


annually and still have a Gini coefficient that would embarrass an Emirate.  


P.S. - the "we" in the above sentence refers to all of us. A solid supermajority of we Americans. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

It's not even confiscation

HankP's picture

it's just saying "No, you can't stack the rules entirely in your favor."


I blame it all on the Internet

IP reform


how many of these billionaires are there because of government granted monopolies on their intellectual property?


I mea, i get that patent and copyright protections are good for innovation, but they must be balanced against social welfare as well, right?


some guy invents the sixpack ring and all of his great grandchildren are now somehow more valuable to society than everyone else? 



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Whaddya mean?


Billionaires who didn't inherit their wealth are "self-made" according to Forbes.


Out of the world's top 400 billionaires, only about 1/3rd of them are "mommy-and/or-daddy-made".


Here are the top five industries for self-made billionaires according to Forbes (all of them producing fewer than inheritance): finance, tech, media, energy, and service.


Finance, tech, and energy certainly have no help whatsoever from the government -- these guys have earned every penny in the freest and naturalest of markets. 

They eat what they kill, catchy.


If I made a movie about Wall St. culture it would be called *Doucheworld*, and it would be exactly what it sounds like. 

"Hell is truth seen too late." --Thomas Hobbes

Rich people are confiscating everything in this country


but never mind, if you haven't noticed by now ... 


2016 looks like a terrific year for a Warren/(some not-very-young centrist who is mostly sidelined):


  • The GOP has a significant demographic disadvantage
  • Christie's toast
  • The GOP hasn't reformed to select an electable candidate: anyone who acts crazy like Ted Cruz or huckabee starts leading in the primary polls

I only watched a clip of the SOTU, but man, Boehner just looks and acts like a di&k. It reminded me that the GOP may love their guys, but the rest of the country thinks they're d*ks and then they lose national elections.


Roll the dice once in awhile, Democrats.

Trump Led Republican Candidates In April 2011

M Scott Eiland's picture

Presidential polls more than a year before the election mean nothing. Except where they're saying that Pauly Shore has more chance of being President than Jon Huntsman--that's correct.

The universe may well have been created without a point--that doesn't imply that we can't give it one.

I'm still seeing a pattern familiar from 2012


GOP candidate does something most Americans regard as d*kish -- lead a gov. shutdown, complain about women's libido, etc. -- and GOP candidate jumps to front-runner status.


That doesn't mean huckabee is the likely nominee, it means the GOP base hasn't fixed its selection process in 2016 -- it hasn't been brought to its sensibilities or to heel.


2016 looks like an excellent year for Ds not to stick with a safe candidate, whose "safety" (Gore, Kerry) they've consistently over-estimated anyway. 

We're Confiscating It And We're Confiscating It All: All Your...



stuff belongs to us...works for me. I have no problem with this. We have the bodies, we have the votes, grab your ankles, new taxes come to store near you.


We can hope.


I watch a lot of 5am business news, they are always complaining about this or that sounds like Class Warfare....fine, let's get it on!




The class warfare paranoia has two readings


One is that the wealthy are still so in control of the country's messaging they can go ape*shit about every little cent that's threatened and not worry about any blow-back. That means conditions are still ripe for increasing the pace of inequality and maintaining falling incomes for the majority.


Another is that the chicken little routine by many of our conservative wealthy --even while Jamie Dimon is getting fat pay raises-- means they might be conditioned to accept modest clawbacks in order to pacify what they believe are the potentially violent, proto-Nazi masses. 

You're not a native southerner, are you?


Our various Texans and those who've spent time in Texas here can tell you that a fear of the dusky horde living off of welfare bennies is a long-standing trend, and that even when the race is stripped from it--"Lemme tell you about the loud, fat woman OF COMPLETELY UNSPECIFIED RACE with her new press-on nails that I saw down at the welfare office..."--it still touches on a deep and atavistic fear that the mob is coming for your stuff. This is why a line manager who makes $36k a year identifies with his company's board of directors. He's fully buying into the narrative that the Horde That's Coming For Your Stuff is not him, but rather Those Other People.

That the line manager who makes $36k a year identifies with

mmghosh's picture

the company's board of directors is a culmination of decades of work done by education, society, media acting in concert.  Amazing stuff.



I only spent 5 months away from the U.S. in 2013, but was still amazed at how thick the economic propaganda seemed upon return.



it's really quite incredible what you can take for granted and get used to....

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw



reminds me of the team america soliloquy about d**, ***holes and p*****.


kind of a great litmus test, that movie. people of different political leanings think its funny for different reasons, the reasons kinda tell you what their leanings are.



“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw