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May 30, 2018

They're still building them around here for some reason

Interesting article on the decline of office parks in New Jersey. I do kind of take umbrage at the idea that the decline is due to the preference of millennials and not the fact that there are no jobs and what jobs do exist are in New York.

By fnord12 | May 30, 2018, 10:08 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 25, 2018

I liked Tesla better when they did power ballads

Elon Musk is bad.

By fnord12 | May 25, 2018, 3:18 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

"The Collapse of Racial Liberalism"

This is good.

By fnord12 | May 25, 2018, 3:01 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 24, 2018

Turns out Zuckuss was just really polite

He just didn't want to disturb the other bounty hunters while they were working.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2018, 1:23 PM | Star Wars & Ummm... Other?| Link

What I'm Hearing is I Should Be Taking More Naps


When we rest, a brain region called the hippocampus becomes active, replaying recent events to transfer them from short- to long-term memory. During rest after the social task, the mPFC connected with the hippocampus, providing support for the idea these social regions have an important memory function. "One of the main reasons--or adaptive potentials--to take breaks, even short breaks throughout our day-to-day life, is to help us retain information longer and transfer it into long-term memory," Andrews-Hanna notes. "The Meyer study is the first to extend these findings to social information and our memory of other people."

Meyer says one real-world application of the study could be that people need to get more rest throughout the day. "I think this data highlights that it might not always be a bad thing to be distracted with this system [the default mode network]. It might be doing something important for us that's helping us learn about social information," she says. For example, "taking a break after a big meeting might help you learn whatever you just witnessed socially."

By min | May 24, 2018, 12:07 PM | Science| Link

Business Insider embarasses itself for Jeff Bezos

Watch this switcharoo:

Senator Bernie Sanders called out Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Twitter on Tuesday, comparing the executive's wealth to the typical Amazon worker who makes a little over $28,000. While Bernie Sanders may have been making a point about workers' wages, Bezos' annual salary is likely much smaller than what most might expect.

Even the headline, Jeff Bezos' annual salary is a lot less than Bernie Sanders probably thinks, is garbage. Did Bernie say anything about salary? No, but he "probably thinks" something about Bezos' salary, so let's build a whole article around that to obfuscate around what Bernie says about Bezos' wealth compared to that of his workers.

You also have to love this line (currently being employed by Elon Musk stans as well) that a business owner doesn't draw a large salary from his company. No, he just hoards all the wealth the company is generating. Imagine thinking that saying that you can live your (lavish) life without drawing a salary is a defense against not treating workers fairly.

By fnord12 | May 24, 2018, 9:55 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 22, 2018

Steve Sweeney is a Republican

Using New Jersey as an example, Jeff Stein says that "higher taxes on the rich may be easier to campaign on than to enact" and the Twitter conversation is just about how this is just a normal feature of our (weird) democracy even when one party controls all branches. But the real issue is that Steve Sweeney is a corrupt conservative who runs as a Democrat because he knows that's what he needs to do to win in New Jersey (same as New York's IDC). Which i guess also may be a feature of our (weird) democracy, but i feel like that context is missing from the discussion.

Stein did good with counteracting Sweeney's obvious nonsense, for what it's worth:

A spokesman for Sweeney, the state Senate president, said families earning over $1.1 million in New Jersey already face an average $738 tax hike under the GOP law, citing data from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP), a left-leaning think tank...

"It is not logical to consider provisions that raise taxes on the rich, while ignoring provisions that cut their taxes," said Steve Wamhoff, ITEP's director of federal tax policy, in an email.

By fnord12 | May 22, 2018, 1:49 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 12, 2018

"If people are truly surprised by this information and not just outraged..."

"...that means journalists, including Playbook's reporters, are failing at their job of informing Americans exactly how corrupt their political system is."

Libby Watson on why Politico Playbook (among others) can fuck right off.

By fnord12 | May 12, 2018, 10:57 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 11, 2018

Burn it all down

In the midst of an article about the first victim of Jeff Sessions' attack on "black identity extremists" (aka the New COINTELPRO) comes this gem:

The FBI, [special agent Aaron] Keighley said, learned of the protest from a video on Infowars, a far-right site run by the commentator Alex Jones, known for spreading false news and conspiracy theories.

We need to build a whole new justice system from scratch. Departments and agents who get their intel from Infowars can't be redeemed.

By fnord12 | May 11, 2018, 12:35 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 10, 2018

Happy Slip

Milwaukee lawyer Michael Brennan confirmed for U.S. Court of Appeals, ending long vacancy amid bitter partisan dispute:

Milwaukee lawyer Michael Brennan was confirmed for a key federal judgeship Thursday, filling the oldest appellate vacancy in the country but deepening a partisan schism in the U.S. Senate over judges...

...He was confirmed 49-46 with only Republican votes, over the objections of Democrat Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin's junior senator.

That has typically been enough to sink a nomination in recent years, because senators from both parties have enjoyed an effective veto over the selection of federal judges from their home states, a tradition known as the "blue slip."

Baldwin's GOP colleague from Wisconsin, Ron Johnson, used his blue slip power to block one of Democratic President Barack Obama's nominees for the same 7th Circuit seat that his party filled Thursday.

But with Republican Donald Trump now in the White House, GOP senators are effectively ending the veto power of home-state senators for nominations to the influential appellate courts, the second-highest rung of the federal judiciary.

Urging her colleagues this week to reject Brennan's nomination, Baldwin warned on the Senate floor that his confirmation will "send the message neither this nor future presidents needs to respect the role of home-state senators in the selection of judicial nominees."

Blue slips are garbage and any idiot could have seen that the Republicans would ditch them at the first convenient moment. The fact that Democrats honored them during Obama's administration (allowing this exact seat to go unfilled during all that time) is the real political malpractice.

By fnord12 | May 10, 2018, 3:46 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 8, 2018

The sooner the US is made irrelevant, the better

Ryan Cooper on Trump's withdrawal from the Iran deal.

This sends a powerful signal to the rest of the world, most especially close U.S. allies: America is a deranged, crumbling basket case of a nation that can't be trusted to understand elementary logic or hold to its word, much less treat other nations with a modicum of decency or honor. The United States has become a rogue state.

...France, Germany, Russia, the U.K., and China are all still parties to the deal, and all of them still believe the agreement is holding. There is virtually no chance that diplomatic system will be able to be reimposed. Indeed, many Iranian elites have argued Iran should continue to stick to the deal despite the U.S. betrayal, if European powers will continue to uphold it.

...Trump is scheduled to try to negotiate a deal with North Korea soon which of necessity would look very much like the Iran deal. In fact, in addition to his Iran deal announcement, the president said Tuesday that he had dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang for a series of meetings with North Korean officials. But the only reason such a thing could possibly succeed now is if the Koreas and China have sufficient confidence in their own arrangements so as to make U.S. participation basically unimportant.

By fnord12 | May 8, 2018, 10:49 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 5, 2018

"Democrats had assumed a defensive posture" being an evergreen statement

As someone who used to donate regularly to ACORN, a group that did great work, their demise and especially the Democrats' complicity in it has always pissed me off. Zach Carter and Arthur Delaney have put up an overview of that, arguing that it was an important turning point in our history.

(One new thing i learned is the role that Jon Stewart played, and i found more on that here.)

By fnord12 | May 5, 2018, 10:17 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Roundup is in everything

Monsanto has poisoned us all.

By fnord12 | May 5, 2018, 10:04 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 4, 2018

The Future is Female

And also four-legged.

By min | May 4, 2018, 8:57 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

May 3, 2018

What the hell kind of logic is this?

Elaine Kamarck previously argued for more superdelegates. Now she's defending the DCCC's interference in primaries on the grounds that uh, there weren't many black people in the districts.

Left-wing Democrats frequently argue about the need to mobilize the base as a reason to run progressive candidates. But the strongest part of the Democratic base consists of African-Americans, and among the districts the D.C.C.C. has intervened in, only two have African-American populations that are in the double digits, and the average African-American population in these swing districts is only about 7 percent... In those districts, the name of the game will be to turn out Democrats but also to move some white voters into the Democratic column.

Kamarck's general argument is equally incoherent but it seems to stem from the idea that political parties are private clubs and the leaders of those clubs ought to be able to do whatever they want with them because they are, er, "more concerned with electability than with ideological purity". Leaving aside the fact that the DCCC's track record on determining who is "electable" has been terrible, the real issue is that voters should get to vote for their candidates in fair elections. Voters can use whatever criteria they like - electability, purity, actual policy positions, whatever - in deciding who to vote for. But the elections should be fair. The quaint notion that political parties are private clubs is technically true thanks to a lack of foresight from the framers of the constitution, but we've been correcting that mistake over the years by making primaries more and more open, and Kamarck is weirdly invested in trying to undo that. What's ironic is that the same people who make the argument about the parties being private clubs will howl and scream when people vote for third parties, and will fight to exclude those parties from ballot access, debates, etc.. The two main parties are the only game in town, and they shouldn't be rigged by "party leaders".

By fnord12 | May 3, 2018, 9:20 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Poisoning our skies to beat the Russians

This kind of reporting is getting more common. Upwards of sixteen Russian social media accounts said encouraging things about an anti-pipeline protest! Don't those dedicated activists know that they're Useful Idiot dupes?

See also what happened to Anoa Changa.

By fnord12 | May 3, 2018, 9:54 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

May 1, 2018

Bundles of joy

In the run-up to Trump's reversal of the FCC's net neutrality rules, Comcast took out a lot of ads swearing that they were nonetheless committed to net neutrality. But these don't look like the actions of a company in favor of net neutrality.

By fnord12 | May 1, 2018, 5:52 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

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