TGIF 3/22/2019

Clash of ages/Trash in my cache

Now that Joe Biden had his first gaff of the yet to be announced 2020 Presidential run, rumors are flying all over. Was it an honest slip of the tongue, was it planned, why did news break he might have offered the V.P. spot to Stacie Abrams?

Now, once again, the question of age has come to the surface asking if Joe is too old and if so will he promise to serve only one term? This makes the V.P. choice even more important and opens up even more questions about the unprecedented timing of this not normal choice.

Probably by now you’ve lost interest in this topic because the media can’t stop obsessing over the Mueller report.

Returning to the topic of age, the New York Times has an editorial about the most famous freshmen members of Congress all who happen to be women. It’s a good read because it dispels some widely held beliefs about the relevance of the sex and age of the members of Congress and the presumed effectiveness of women getting things done men can’t seem to finish. It made me drop my personal opinion on the latter point but I still hope for the first woman President and more in Congress.

Since I quit Facebook I’ve been reading articles by folks who have also dropped it. NYT tech writer Brian Chen broke free last year and posted a new piece where he shares his experiences including the fact he didn’t lose any “friends” because he was still in contact with them and didn’t really miss the other “friends” who existed only on Facebook who only seemed to share links to quizzes, political news stories or their opinions on them (the last two I am terminally guilty of doing).

In the end the FOMO (fear of missing out) turned out to be nothing to worry about. His life is moving along nicely, he’s saving a lot of money and the extra time recaptured is being used to do things which are actually productive .

The biggest change he noticed, and most important to me, was being able to escape most of the targeted ads that followed him around the internet on every device he uses. What changed was a big decline in impulse buying.

You might say ads don’t bother you or you might even like them, but they drove me nuts the way they seemed to immediately show up everywhere after you had done a search or clicked a link. Over time the little annoyances do build up and become stressful no matter how much I tell myself they don’t. In his piece he posted a link to one he’d written on what can be done to stop the madness.

Speaking of madness, let’s get back to our Mueller obsessions.

39 thoughts on “TGIF 3/22/2019

  1. Opinion
    People Actually Like the Green New Deal
    Mitch McConnell’s show vote in the Senate on Tuesday rejected the plan, but Republicans may come to regret their mockery.

    The core challenge the Green New Deal faces is not so much on the merits of the concept or even its political feasibility; it is that many of its Democratic supporters have met an aggressive and one-sided onslaught from the right with very little by way of response.

    Read more (pdf)


  2. Opinion
    A Dummy’s Guide to Democratic Policy Proposals
    Democrats are offering up a litany of exciting big ideas. Let’s take a look.

    We in the news media often whack politicians for not being serious about policy. And then we ignore their policy proposals.

    So here, in the spirit of orgiastic wonkishness, is my Dummy’s Guide to Democratic Policy Proposals. I write it because something fascinating is underway: After decades of incrementalism, Democrats are now proposing a litany of exciting big ideas.

    Here’s my take:

    Read more (pdf)


  3. EU cannot betray ‘increasing majority’ who want UK to remain, says Tusk
    EC president hails those who marched against Brexit and revoke article 50 petitioners

    Donald Tusk has issued a rallying call to the “increasing majority” of British people who want to cancel Brexit and stay in the European Union.

    In a stirring intervention, the European council president praised those who marched on the streets of London and the millions who are petitioning the government to revoke article 50.

    Speaking to the European parliament, Tusk reprimanded those who voiced concerns about a potential lengthy extension to article 50 in the event of the Commons rejecting the withdrawal agreement again this week.

    Tusk said: “Let me make one personal remark to the members of this parliament. Before the European council, I said that we should be open to a long extension if the UK wishes to rethink its Brexit strategy, which would of course mean the UK’s participation in the European parliament elections. And then there were voices saying that this would be harmful or inconvenient to some of you.

    Brexit extension could be until 31 March 2020, EU documents reveal
    Read more

    “Let me be clear: such thinking is unacceptable. You cannot betray the 6 million people who signed the petition to revoke article 50, the 1 million people who marched for a people’s vote, or the increasing majority of people who want to remain in the European Union”

    Read more

  4. Is Pete Buttigieg the Future of the Democratic Party?
    Pete Buttigieg is having a moment.

    With a bio as unique as his name, the progressive mayor from South Bend has jumped to third place in the latest Emerson poll of the 2020 Democratic Iowa caucus, Salon reports. Buttigieg (pronounced BOOT-edge-edge, according to his official Twitter bio) is a 37-year-old Afghanistan war veteran, Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar, who has taught himself Norwegian—see his response last weekend in South Carolina to a question from a Norwegian journalist here—and is conversant in several other languages. He is vying to become the first openly gay presidential nominee from a major political party.

    According to Emerson’s findings, 11 percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucus-goers say they would vote for Buttigieg to be their 2020 presidential nominee. Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet entered the race, received the support of 25 percent of poll respondents, while 24 percent of likely caucus-goers said they would choose Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. The only other candidate to receive double-digit support was Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who was favored by 10 percent of respondents.

    Buttigieg’s newfound momentum was not lost on Spencer Kimball, director of the Emerson Poll, who said in a statement:

    The biggest surprise in this poll is Mayor Pete. Last week, we saw him inching up in our national poll, and now he’s in double digits in Iowa. America is going to be asking, “Who is Mayor Pete?”

    Read more

  5. Michelle Goldberg
    No Criminal Collusion. Lots of Corruption.

    Don’t let Trump pretend he has been vindicated.

    Until the Mueller report is publicly released, however, it’s impossible to tell how much of Trump’s victory is substantive and how much is spin. The report, evidently, leaves open the question of whether Trump obstructed justice. In his letter to Congress about the report, Barr said that he and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, made the determination that no obstruction of justice occurred. Of course, last year Barr wrote a memo calling Mueller’s obstruction investigation “grossly irresponsible” and “fatally misconceived,” which is surely why Trump appointed him in the first place. There is no reason for anyone to take his finding seriously.

    Read more (pdf)


  6. Museums Cut Ties With Sacklers as Outrage Over Opioid Crisis Grows
    aka Museums say “Goddamn to the Pusherman

    In a remarkable rebuke to one of the world’s most prominent philanthropic dynasties, the prestigious Tate museums in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, where a Sackler sat on the board for many years, decided in the last week that they would no longer accept gifts from their longtime Sackler benefactors. Britain’s National Portrait Gallery announced it had jointly decided with the Sackler Trust to cancel a planned $1.3 million donation, and an article in The Art Newspaper disclosed that a museum in South London had returned a family donation last year.

    The Tate’s statement noted the family’s “historic philanthropy,” then added: “However, in the present circumstances we do not think it right to seek or accept further donations from the Sacklers.”

    Read more (pdf)



    “They certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

    Well before he dipped his toe into politics, Donald Trump made a habit of praising certain world leaders. “I think [Vladimir Putin] has done really a great job of outsmarting our country,” Trump said during a 2013 interview, going on to offer public praise for the Russian president at several other points that year. His list of role models has since grown to include Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey; even Trump’s criticism of Kim Jong Un comes interspersed with bizarre compliments. And on Monday, while ostensibly pitching the American public on the Republican tax law, the president went off-script in a tirade that hewed uncomfortably close to the rhetoric Trump’s favorite autocrats employ.

    Read more

  8. It’s cheaper to replace most coal plants with renewables than keep them open, per report

    New research finds that replacing 74 percent of coal plants with renewables would immediately reduce costs.

    It would be more expensive to keep the majority of U.S. coal plants open than to replace them with new wind and solar power alternatives, according to new findings published Monday.

    Authored by the environmental firm Energy Innovation in partnership with the grid analysis company Vibrant Clean Energy, the research finds that replacing 74 percent of coal plants nationally with wind and solar power would immediately reduce power costs, with wind power in particular at times cutting the cost almost in half. By 2025, the analysis indicates, around 86 percent of coal plants could similarly be at risk of cheaper replacement by renewables.

    Read more



    President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is encouraging television news networks to cease booking several Democrats on their programs, citing “outlandish, false claims” made by the individuals named in a letter sent to the networks on Monday.

    The letter was penned by Tim Murtaugh, the Director of Communications for the president’s 2020 campaign.

    Individuals in the letter include Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT, Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Cali.), Adam Schiff (D-Cali.) and Jerrod Nadler (D-N.Y.), Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan. However, the letter says the list is not limited to the six individuals listed though other names are not given.

    Read more

  10. Pete Buttigieg: 2020 Democratic candidate surges to third place in new poll


    Pete Buttigieg has surged to third place in a new poll of Democratic presidential candidates, ahead of Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Beto’Rourke.

    Shortest Way Home review: Pete Buttigieg as president in waiting
    Read more
    The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, won the backing of 11% of likely Iowa Democratic caucus voters in an Emerson poll released on Sunday.

    Joe Biden had 25% support, with Bernie Sanders in second place with 24%. But the performance of Buttigieg, who has impressed in a series of TV appearances, is likely to serve as a warning to his better-known rivals.

    Buttigieg had 0% support in Emerson’s January poll, which was conducted just after he formed an exploratory committee.

    He has not yet formally declared he is running to take on Donald Trump next year but he has been widely praised for his performance in a CNN town hall and in high-profile interviews. He has met the 65,000-donor threshold that qualifies him to take part in the Democratic debates

    Read more

  11. I’m choosing to hold off posting Mueller Report articles and opinions, it’s just too soon. What does matter is the judicial system worked and this matter is still a work in progress. We will not learn why Mueller did what he did and all the reasons why until we see the report. So, until then there are only opinions and points of law.

    We’re in a new learning phase now so feel free to post whatever you dig up.

  12. One million join march against Brexit as Tories plan to oust May

    Organisers hail UK’s ‘biggest-ever demo’, while Tom Watson leads calls for fresh referendum

    In one of the biggest demonstrations in British history, a crowd estimated at over one million people yesterday marched peacefully through central London to demand that MPs grant them a fresh referendum on Brexit.

    The Put it to the People march, which included protesters from all corners of the United Kingdom and many EU nationals living here, took place amid extraordinary political turmoil and growing calls on prime minister Theresa May to resign. Some cabinet ministers are considering her de facto deputy David Lidington as an interim replacement for her, although as pro-Remain he would be strongly opposed by Brexiters.

    Organisers of the march said precise numbers had been difficult to gauge, but they believed the protest could have been even bigger than that against the Iraq war in February 2003.

    The decision by so many to take part, waving EU flags and banners and carrying effigies of Theresa May, came just three days after the prime minister said in a televised statement to the nation that she believed the British people did not support another referendum, and blamed MPs for trying to block their will.

    Read more

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