Friday, November 28, 2014

қырық бес

I now have more years than the U.S. has had presidencies.

previously: 44, 43, 42, [41], 40, 39, 38, 37, 36, 35, 34

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

People never consider that calling up the military tends to escalate things

"[W]eeks of preparation for a grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown [by the Missouri government] had failed to prevent violence."

Although the answer is ultimately unknowable, my question is whether Governor Nixon's decision to preemptively declare a state of emergency last week could have made things worse.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

What are the chances that something would happen that we know actually happened

Isn't the probability one hundred percent because here we are?

What a gig!

As I said before, I think Grubergate is a lot more about political circuses than substance, but I am amused that Jonathan Gruber will forever be known as the "'stupidity' consultant."

(via Memeorandum)

Why is does the Thanksgiving bird have the same name as a country in Asia Minor?

That's nobody's business but the Mamluks.

Also, if you are attuned to such things, buried in the article is a hint for why there are three alternate ways to say "turkey" (the bird, not the country) in Arabic and where they each might have come from.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Question of the day

Would the authorities delay the announcement of the grand jury's decision in the Ferguson shooting case until evening if the decision is to charge Darren Wilson in the shooting?

Drama Obama

So why are they pissing all over Hagel as he goes out the door? That's what I don't get. As JMM points out, it will not be easy to appoint a successor and, even if the President really wanted him out, his administration did not have to tell the world that he isn't up to the job. Why not go the usual route and say he wants to spend more time with his family?

So they must have not just wanted him out really badly, he also displeased them so much they wanted to hurt his reputation on his way out too. (Not that they can really hurt his reputation without giving specifics about why they needed him gone). Hagel is a former Republican member of the Senate. He still has friends there. Some of those friends the administration will need the votes of to confirm a successor. I am trying to imagine what Hagel could have done that would have made the administration's conduct make sense. I just can't see what that could have been to make this anything other than petty vindictiveness.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chocolution 47: Original Bean, Cru Virunga 70%

I liked this one too. I think this is the first Chocolate I have tried from the D.R. Congo. Eastern D.R.Congo too! Does that make this a conflict chocolate?

In any case, the gimmick for this company is the back has a V-code that I can enter in at the web site to see what trees were planted thanks to my purchase of the bar. Try it yourself! Go to this site and enter this code in the field at the upper right: V21351 1530

That's my tree!

Four years

Friday, November 21, 2014

How the Noz Mind Works

Every time I see a news article about Nigel Farage I am amused because I inevitably misread his name as Farange. "Farange"or "faranj" or other similar variations of those sounds is a word that means "alien," "stranger," or "foreigner" in a whole bunch of languages, which is a really funny name for the leader of an anti-immigrant political party. Then I realize, once again, that his name doesn't have an "n" so it's not quite as funny as I thought.

The Nigel Farage thing is kinda like how I am amused every time I read something about Ana Kasparian, because she reports for the Young Turks network and it seems strange for someone with such a clearly Armenian name to be working for "the Young Turks."

God wants Ben Carson to lose a presidential election

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chocolution 46: Askinosie Chocolate, San Jose del Tambo

Crap, I thought I had done a post about last week's tasting, but I hadn't. So now I am (not that anyone cares but me. But I do care, dammit!!!)

Anyway, this was another good one. Thumbs up! The end.

GOP political strategy does not lead to conservative policy

Matthew Yglesias has an interesting observation.

But the thing that gets me is that so many politically engaged conservatives don't care about policy. I think that is what allows the Republican leadership to keep doing stupid things that are popular with their base but which lead to policy outcomes they don't like.

If you ask a conservative who is into politics "what should we do about health care in this country?" they don't really have an answer (other than to undo whatever Obama has done--never mind that at this point there is no practical way to do that without creating a host of new problems).

If you ask a conservative who is into politics "what should we do about climate change?" they mostly deny that there is such a thing. If you follow-up and mention that the Supreme Court has required the EPA to regulate greenhouse gasses unless Congress comes up with an alternative, they really don't have an answer of what that alternative should be.

Go ahead, ask them. I have. I'm not talking about all conservatives. I have definitely talked to some who have actual ideas about policy and are even capable of talking policy. But the strange thing is that, in recent years it seems to me that the more politically engaged a conservative is, the less he or she is able to discuss actual policy.

Here's another example: the Gruber videos. Sure, it looks bad when a guy who helped design the health care law calls voters "stupid." But what does that really say about health care policy? I mean, are health care exchanges (i.e. a government system designed to increase competition in the private insurance market) a good idea or a bad idea? what would be a better idea? The kerfuffle about Gruber doesn't get to those issues, or for that matter, any real issue about health care reform. It is only about optics, which is not what is really important. But that's not what the most politically engaged conservatives think is important.

It is very strange. I blame Fox News (although not only Fox News)

Democrats: want to feel better about the last election?