« A collection of enjoyable books | Main | Wednesday books: fic and non »

December 10, 2017

Comments

you won't see a poseur like Roy Moore wearing a sombrero, after all.

Well of course not! Sombreros were worn by Mexican immigrants**. So as a "real American" there's no way Judge Roy Moore would wear one.

Hmmm, it does occur to me that Moore may have been styling himself as "Judge Roy" is an attempt to link himself to another legendary American: Judge Roy Bean. Hmmm....

** OK, OK, those particular Mexicans were mostly here first and it was the Anglos who were immigrants. But don't confuse the discussion with facts.

Your cringeworthy video of the day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-zvNnFjk3Q

I don't consider myself enough of a trial lawyer to be qualified to be a federal district court judge, but I’m Louis effin' Brandeis compared to some of these guys Trump has nominated.

Gov Scott has put some real idiots on the state appellate bench here in Florida (I have one on a panel right now), but an unqualified appellate judge is less frightening than an unqualified trial judge ... especially one who could be handing criminal cases.

throw a bunch of low-quality crap at the project just to fill in the gaps.

Trump brings scumbag builder practices to government!

Pollo, compared to that guy, *I* am Louis Brandeis. And I've never even been to law school!

I would at the very least, when facing a Congressional confirmation hearing, have taken the trouble to read up on things like the Federal Rules of Evidence. This guy either doesn't really want the job, or figures that he doesn't need to know anything when being hired for a sinecure.

A Law and Order fan could probably give a credible answer to the Daubert and motion in limine questions.

Would it be rude, at this point, to make a reference to Law and Order - SVU?

figures that he doesn't need to know anything when being hired for a sinecure

Bingo!

These days, cowboys are likely to wear give-me caps, steel-toed work boots, and drive Ford F150s. And do herding from aboard a dirt bike.

Politicians and Cowboy Hats

not a good look for Karl Rove

But it's everywhere:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/151/400394507_d58a166605_b.jpg

Looks better on him than on Rove, however.

And do herding from aboard a dirt bike.

My limited experience has been gathering cow-calf pairs that had been grazing in a national forest. An unpleasant amount of up/down sans trails and with far too many scrubby trees (don't get me started on 100 years of bad forest management). Then pushing them back to a pasture at a cow's walking pace.

I will always remember watching my teen-aged daughter, on a different occasion, on a young horse that had developed a collie's slavish desire to please her, dancing back and forth in front of a bull that thought he was going to walk away from the little herd. Eventually the bull decided that it wasn't worth the trouble and went where she wanted him to go. No way that works without a horse.

Michael Cain, that's a very interesting and sweet story. Would love to have had that kind of experience with large animals.

My experience with large animals is as close to zero as one could get, but lots of reading about how police use horses for crowd control, armies used cavalry and, not least of all, Faulkner's Spotted Horses has me feel like I'm glad I live in an age where one's worth isn't measured by how well they get along with large animals.

“Them’s good, gentle ponies,” the stranger said. “Watch now.” He put the carton back into his pocket and approached the horses, his hand extended. The nearest one was standing on three legs now. It appeared to be asleep. Its eyelid drooped over the cerulean eye; its head was shaped like an ironingboard. Without even raising the eyelid it flicked its head, the yellow teeth cropped. For an instant it and the man appeared to be inextricable in one violence. Then they became motionless, the stranger’s high heels dug into the earth, one hand gripping the animal’s nostrils, holding the horse’s head wrenched half around while it breathed in hoarse, smothered groans. “See?” the stranger said in a panting voice, the veins standing white and rigid in his neck and along his jaw. “See? All you got to do is handle them a little and work hell out of them for a couple of days. Now look out. Give me room back there.” They gave back a little. The stranger gathered- himself then sprang away. As he did so, a second horse slashed at his back, severing his vest from collar to hem down the back exactly as the trick swordsman severs a floating veil with one stroke.

“Sho now,” Quick said. “But suppose a man don’t happen to own a vest.”

You cowgirls and cowboys done had enough comparin' yer fancy duds yet? Them doggies are restless. There's a stampede amountin, and when they go, there's nuthin to stop em till they hit the Pecos.

Behind a paywall, but like I said t'other mornin, they's a goin after female Democratic politicians now who we thought might geld the rascals and put our brand on this here open prairie. We got ourselves a range war and you ole timers who were around when we chased the Comanche and their women up and down every danged arroyo in West Texas in the last one got a little taste of how bad thisun's gonna be:

Saddle up! We ride at daybreak:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/15/us/andrea-ramsey-harassment.html?mtrref=disq.us&gwh=CEC4938A7DCEF021498A39CAD9B44DBB&gwt=pay

Thomas McGuane's book of essays "Some Horses" is some wonderful prose, should you run across it.

Large animals?

On a trip to Tanzania I got to fool around with a couple of elephants. These are large animals.

We were warned to be careful, because if an elephant turns its head and unintentionally hits you with the side of its tusk you may end up with a cracked rib.

I know, charismatic megafauna, etc. But those creatures are amazing, fascinating, and much more intelligent than we realize. The average elephant is, IMO, smarter than the average Republican congressman.

I wish people would stop killing them.

I wish people would stop killing them.

Me too. With all my heart.

lj, that was lovely, thanks. My grandmother lived in her early days with horses as her mode of transportation to go to town and obtain things needed for the household. She told stories of the horse running away, and having to chase and catch it. I can't really imagine having small children and needing to go through all of that to survive.

I so often feel that we are squandering the luxury we have in our lifetimes to admire, befriend and protect animals, even when they are not essential to our survival.

In much of their habitat, elephants suffer from a tragedy of the commons effect.

I once did a back of the envelope calculation and figured that the total biomass of people and draft animals in the US today is about the same as it was 100 years ago.

In much of their habitat, elephants suffer from a tragedy of the commons effect.

in pretty much all of their habitat, elephants suffer from an "@ssholes shooting them" effect.

the layman's term for "tragedy of the commons" is "there go those selfish idiots again".

it's not some regrettable but inevitable economic law. it's people being stupid greedy jerks.

there's a remedy. it's called "jail".

there's a remedy. it's called "jail".

Yes.

Tanzania tried summary execution of elephant poachers but quit since it wasn't stopping them.

As so often in economics, the solution isn't on the supply side, but on the demand side. Cut out the lowlifes demanding ivory, and the slaughter of elephants drops dramatically. (Ditto for rhinos.)

Yeah, there would still be the guys my Mom used to refer to caustically as "mighty hunters." But they, at least, would mostly be dissuaded by the example of a couple of their number doing (highly publicized) 40 year sentences in an African prison.

An approach to ending poaching:

Save the Rhinos! (YouTube)

Stossel seems to make no distinction between farming rhinos for their horns and selling fake horns.

Selling fake horns seems good! Until people who want real horns aren't happy with the deception. Farming rhinos for their horns ends up meaning cruel factory farms, and ignoring the ecosystem around the problem of rhino haitat. Maybe we need to be teaching people to value rhinos, not their horns.

I agree the issue is complicated, but farming rhinos isn't necessarily the humane solution.
How about the fact that vulnerable indigenous people are being murdered? The market doesn't solve everything.

wj: As so often in economicspolitics, the solution isn't on the supply side, but on the demand side.

Not so much FTFY as "Stole Your Meme For My Own Purposes"--SYMFMOP.

The popular demand for blatant lies is what stimulates lying liars like He, Trump to supply lies such as His assertion that the GOP feed-the-rich tax "reform" will cost Him, personally, money.

There's no way to stop He, Trump and his toadies from supplying blatant lies as long as "white working class" racist theocrats (women as well as men) demand more and more blatant lies to consume.

My sole consolation, in light of all recent developments, is this: in our current Age of Celebrity, wherein being famous is practically a guarantee of a large income, the GOP tax cuts are likely to unleash ex-Senator Al Franken's creative energy.

(For those of you who missed it, I allude to the passage from 8:20 to about 8:45 in Al Franken's 1996 White House Correspondents Dinner speech.)

I have long believed that laughter and contempt are about the only weapons that can make a dent in the adamantine stupidity of devoted consumers of lies. Polite reasoning may persuade them in the long run, but you know what they say about the long run.

--TP

Seven words banned by rump and his stalinist murderous buttlickers, kind of a bizarro Carlin effect:

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/

The conservative movement, with its conservative principles spreading throughout your dead fucking government, has no idea of the hatred and the vengeance coming at you.

You are filth. You are scum. You are traitors.

Fuck laughter and contempt at these vermin.

They didn't ban the word "disease" yet.

That word describes them.

Inoculate. Irradiate.

Fuck you, republicans.

It's my country.

Get the fuck out of it, or else.

Two things happened yesterday:

Little kids, not too far removed from fetus-hood but (far enough for republican vermin to consider them worthy of bullet wounds) which besides being incorporated, is one of two characteristics you'll want to have in America to be considered a fully-developed human being, were gunned down in cold-blood at Sandy Hook.

And, in commemoration, the accessories to mass murder, subhuman NRA leaders, were feted at the rump White House.

Putin congratulated rump for the coincidence.

The equities of gun makers rose in price on Wall Street in fond remembrance.

Mueller will be fired. The Congressional Committees will cease their investigations into the most monstrous espionage ever carried out in American history.

There is very little time left.

Pure Republican Evil.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmI1WcFo56M

Mueller will be fired

let's hope not. but, it's not unlikely.

I don't really know what happens then. when Nixon pulled that crap, there was pushback, even from his own party.

I don't see that happening now.

if Mueller is fired, consider showing up for this.

take half a day, show up.

take half a day, show up.

Highly recommend.

Plan to.

In whatever city I'm in when the hammer drops.

It's a shame this rogue government won't have the respect for the American people to send tanks.

The line of questioning for the judicial appointee and his ignorance cited above by pollo reminds me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx5d3haRG7M

It was funny once upon a time.

Every single attorney who has commented here in OBWI's history, and Marty, are more qualified.

In the junta and provisional government that overthrows this government, I'll be appointed to a Judgeship.

I aim to earn myself a reputation as a hanging judge.

We'll seat a jury but they'll just be wallpaper.

This is an interesting suggestion because it is something local communities could do in response to the end of net neutrality— set up municipal internet service providers. Sort of a public option.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/15/fcc-net-neutrality-public-broadband-seattle/

Donald -- As the linked article says, the for-profit providers will fight it viciously, and in this political climate, well, good luck. But while we tackle that project, let's make the mobile phone system a public utility as well. Right now it's just another way to make money flow from people who have less to people who already have more.

not seeing how local broadband helps much. paving all the streets in your town makes for nice local driving, but it doesn't do anything about the fact that the highways in and out of your town can now charge based on where the traffic originates / what the trucks are carrying.

If enough localities did it, maybe they'd have some collective clout to use in bargaining for access/price.

But that's not what i'd really like to see.

Regulate it. Nationalize it. Put it in the pipeline right along single payer health care.

Find some way or other to stop this: it's just another way to make money flow from people who have less to people who already have more.

That's the hallmark of our era, which I don't expect to see the end of in my lifetime. It would be nice to be wrong about that.

That picture I linked to the other day, the Brandenburg Gate in 1939 vs now, did make me cry. But the tears were partly for the 60,000,000 people (depending on which phases you count) who had to die so we that could have the menorah there in 2017.

Cleek— I wondered about that, but don’t know enough. But part of the idea for me would be precisely to start a vicious fight with the for profit providers that JanieM mentions.. Let people see who is on the side of cheaper internet access.

I barely use my cell phone. Maybe once a year if I am on a trip without my wife, so that issue didn’t even occur to me. But yes, include that too.

set up municipal internet service providers.

Chattanooga somewhat famously did this a while ago. comcast and verizon weren't interested, not enough $$$ in it, so the city did it themselves. then comcast and verizon sued the, repeatedly. last I heard Chattanooga prevailed. it''s been good for the city.

at this point so much of the economy and general public infrastructure relies on connectivity that it should be treated as a utility. connectivity per se does not lend itself to "market solutions" any more than water and sewer do.

the most monstrous espionage ever carried out

i've been pondering the use of the term "espionage" here.

the stuff that we are seeing either alleged or demonstrated by Trump and his circle do not IMO rise to the level of espionage. they are garden variety grift.

i'll do something for you, then you do something for me. and once you do something for me, I own you, because what you did for me is not something you ought to have done.

oldest con in the world.

"connectivity per se does not lend itself to "market solutions" any more than water and sewer do."

The last milers are a perfect example of the market at work. Thousands of public private agreements to ensure they would invest in providing connectivity that worked perfectly. Until people decided that now the investment was done they shouldn't have to pay for it.

Is there really anything you think SHOULD be a free market business?

Public WiFi won't be free, just hidden in your tax increases, probably property taxes.

Our revered Founders considered mail important enough to make it a public service.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power to ... establish Post Offices and post Roads ...

I want the USPS to provide broadband web access to everybody, because I think the Founders got it right.

--TP

just hidden in your tax increases

I do not consider things paid for by my taxes to be "hidden." They're a lot less hidden than the things that corporations do with the money they get from me.

Plus, at least I get a vote as to what my taxes pay for.

I prefer to vote with my dollars.

You and people much, much richer than you.
Good luck with that.

--TP

"i've been pondering the use of the term "espionage" here."

"garden variety grift"

Perhaps with rump and company, it's big time grift. I don't think they are clever enough for espionage. They are low quality people.

The Russians, and perhaps other players, however, have bigger things in mind than the pretty good ziti at the rump joint they own behind the scenes.

so much of the economy and general public infrastructure relies on connectivity that it should be treated as a utility. 

Exactly!

Of course, you would still have arguments from those with a philosophical/ideological objection to the whole concept of public utilities. ...

You and people much, much richer than you.
Good luck with that.

Perhaps I should start voting with Bitcoin...

not seeing how local broadband helps much. paving all the streets in your town makes for nice local driving, but it doesn't do anything about the fact that the highways in and out of your town can now charge based on where the traffic originates / what the trucks are carrying.

Your "highway" will (unless you're a huge municipality) be physical fiber leased from a common carrier and, more importantly, transit service leased from a Tier 2 network. There are lots of Tier 2 networks. They compete on the basis of port pricing, low latency, and rich connectivity to other backbone providers. Their whole business model is based on moving the end users' packets as quickly and transparently as possible. Grossly oversimplifying, because peering is an insane subject, if one of them were to try to screw you (the municipality) over by threatening to shape your inbound/outbound traffic without your permission, there's a bunch of other Tier 2 companies eager to do business with you.

US Constitution, Article I, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power to ... establish Post Offices and post Roads ...

Great observation. I hope that one of these days, we have a Congress that represents the people, and we can implore them to use that power as you've suggested.

PITCH: The most powerful nation in the world has a 2-party system, but one party is a deathcult run by the wealthiest 0.01% which uses xenophobia and propaganda to manipulate a morally corrupt 47% majority caste base via a gerrymandered apartheid voting system.

(stolen from someone on the twitter)

So, what about the Republican party?...

I hope that one of these days, we have a Congress that represents the people, and we can implore them to use that power as you've suggested.

From memory, so suspect, but I seem to recall that a couple of Post Office cases made it to the early Supreme Court. One to decide whether "Post Office" included an actual postal delivery service, and one over whether "post Roads" included sending mail by ship over the open seas.

I haven't mailed anything in years. About the only time I get anything in the mail I want, it's a package that FedEx or UPS dropped at the Post Office instead of my door.

I haven't mailed anything in years. About the only time I get anything in the mail I want, it's a package that FedEx or UPS dropped at the Post Office instead of my door.

We must have different friends.

The last milers are a perfect example of the market at work

off the top of your head, can you tell me what the conditions for an efficient market are?

can you tell me how many of them apply to broadband connectivity?

also, wifi, refers to wireless. if there's a wire connecting to your house, that isn't what we're talking about.

and i would be happy to fund internet access as a utility via taxes or other utility fees. that's how i get water, sewer, gas, electricity, trash pickup, and public transportation and highways. i'm more than happy with the level of service i get from all of those things, and i'm more than happy with what i pay for them.

I prefer to vote with my dollars.

i prefer to vote with my vote. with dollars, i prefer to buy.

the failure to distinguish between those two things are going to kill this country.

and not for nothing, but the number of places where you get to "vote with your dollars" when it comes to broadband access are vanishingly small. if you have a choice of two providers, that's a very big deal.

I don't think they are clever enough for espionage.

yeah, that's pretty much what i'm saying.

they're in it for the rugs.

CharlesWT: I haven't mailed anything in years.

Sort of makes my point. "Mail" is different from what it was 250 years ago, just like "arms", just like "the press". Are you an originalist or a literalist?

--TP

"also, wifi, refers to wireless. if there's a wire connecting to your house, that isn't what we're talking about."

Well of course it is. Since almost everybody gets their WiFi from a router attached to a wire(that's actual everybody), mostly in a house, someone's house, or business. Selling connectivity is what they do. Why should the government take that over?

I prefer to vote with my dollars.

I have one vote. I have many dollars. Lots of people have less. A few people have MANY MANY MORE.

Doesn't strike me as a fair or democratic election, but it's what some people want, I guess.

Why not a compromise: The number of your allowed votes is the decadic logarithm of the number of dollars you pay. That's a poll tax I could get behind. ;-)

“Why should the government take that over?”

Because it is a natural monopoly and with the end of net neutrality we don’t trust the private companies to behave.

The government is trying to criminalize being at a protest when others start to riot.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/inauguration-trial-j20-trump-doj_us_5a32e337e4b0ff955ad14e6d?b8q

Why should the government take that over?

First of all, the government has already "taken it over". In some cases municipalities provide connectivity as a public service, in others (and overwhelmingly most) connectivity is provided by a private entity under contract with the municipality, i.e. the government. The municipality is responsible for negotiating and enforcing SLAs and other terms of service.

Lots of services that are provided broadly to the public are implemented this way. In my area, trash pickup, electricity, and gas are commonly managed this way.

The issue about WiFi is that the service that is provided is, specifically, a hard-wired connection to the in-house router. How you consume the connectivity within your home or business is your affair. The reason that point is relevant is because the hard-wired connection represents a large capital expenditure, both up-front and for maintenance, and that is what gives the private providers their (justifiable) leverage in negotiations.

The question on the table was not whether government should "take over" broadband, or whether people want it "for free". The question on the table is about the rollback of the net neutrality regulations.

Much more specifically, the question is whether ISPs should be treated as common carriers, the way we treat things like electricity or phone service, as opposed to treating them as providers of a commodity service.

My argument is that, given the degree to which broadband connectivity has become fundamental to the overall economy and basic daily life, they should be treated as a utility.

Basically, the ISPs now have their cake and eat it too. They occupy a privileged position as monopolistic or near-monopolistic providers of an essential service, but they are also free to make back-end deals as they wish, back-end deals which will affect the availability and quality of service to end users who have few or no other options.

That seems F'd up to me. And it is most definitely not, in any imaginable way, a "market based" situation. It is the opposite.

As far as US domestic broadband "working perfectly", it does not. It works pretty well, and no more than that. And, as always seems to be the case in situations like this, many of our dreaded democratic socialist peers do better, in terms of both availability and performance.

We don't do things the same way they do, so we get what we get.

Lastly, in the particular case I cited, the city of Chattanooga decided to provide broadband through the dreaded "government taking it over" route because no ISPs would provide the service. Not enough money in it for them.

See also the two paragraphs immediately preceding the last one.

More about criminalizing presence at a demonstration where others riot.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/protesting-dc-trump-inauguration-trial_us_5a1e1e84e4b0d724fed48d32

https://theintercept.com/2017/10/25/trump-inauguration-protest-j20-trial/

Related to Chattanooga (and I'm a fan of municipal fiber networks)...

No city has managed it unless they already had a municipal electric power utility. There are multiple reasons for that. First, a large part of the cost of the initial fiber backbone gets picked up by the electric utility, who uses their subset of the fibers to monitor and control their network. Second, it provides the city with the experience (and gear) to manage the outside plant. Google Fiber has been unpleasantly surprised to discover just how much money it takes to start from scratch.

Comcast offers all of its standard services and shows no signs of pulling out of the city. There is some evidence that Comcast is able to use their integrated Tier 1 and regional network status to provide faster access to the non-local internet than EPB. High-speed data service is more than just local access -- in real measurements, relatively few end users need more local bandwidth than provided by full-duplex switched 10 Mbps Ethernet.

Chattanooga's high-speed data service is not available everywhere in the city, or to every customer even in areas that they serve. Older high-density apartment situations are a notoriously difficult "last 100 feet" problem. Chattanooga is looking at wifi to serve customers that can't get fiber access, which will be a vastly inferior service.

"More about criminalizing presence at a demonstration where others riot."

So Putin's conservative principles and methods are spreading throughout the Justice Department and American (cough) jurisprudence.

Good, I hope the government wins this one, just as I hope Hillary Clinton goes to jail under rump's totalitarian rule.

One day, this ruling can be used as precedent for prosecuting the murders of 57 Americans and the wounding of 500 to 600 others in Las Vegas. The NRA and guns rights conservatives were just as present in that hotel room and equally culpable in those killings with the late killer.

They sold him the fucking weapons and ammo.

Just so, net neutrality is merely a big government-imposed limitation, using the private sector, where the First Amendment goes to die, to do its dirty work in keeping with native conservative American principled assholishness, on universal access to First Amendment highways and byways.

Last time I looked, Obsidian Wings is not available via Google in China.

It may not be here either in a couple of years, unless Marty is permitted to edit the content so republican party gummint is more favorably dispised to it.

That last word should be "disposed", but leave it

Conservatives and libertarians view universal access to anything ... voting, free speech, prostate surgery .. strictly as a matter of dollars.

We need some fake Indians spilling barrels of modems into Boston Harbor to protest this FCC "decision".

Then Sessions can prosecute everyone in Boston for being "present" at the crime.

"Basically, the ISPs now have their cake and eat it too."

Even gay ISPs who want to merge.

Be a fetus or a corporation in America if you want full rights. Merely being an individual born human is not worth the trouble.

What a full of shit country we've got going here.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/doug-jones-we-need-to-move-on-from-trump-misconduct-allegations-to-real-issues

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/mnuchin-mueller-probe-distraction-we-must-get-past

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/cornyn-mueller-russia-probe-doubt-legitimacy

In the first instance, fuck Doug Jones ... already.

I guess having a dick in this country makes one a dick, though certainly Ann Coulter has found a way past that requirement.

In the second two instances, all the more reason for the rump justice department to win their case against innocent demonstrators as soon as possible, because they will have to arrest EVERYONE, dicks or not, if Mueller, a conservative republican, is fired and the investigations halted.

Conservatives and libertarians view universal access to anything ... voting, free speech, prostate surgery .. strictly as a matter of dollars.

that is my impression as well

Conservatives and libertarians view universal access to anything ... voting, free speech, prostate surgery .. strictly as a matter of dollars.

Count, last I looked it isn't illegal to print (counterfeit) Confederate dollars. (As long as you don't try to sell them claiming that they are antiquities printed by the Confederacy, of course.) Do you suppose that those would be acceptable...?

The point is that monopoly or near-monopoly markets do not provide the benefits associated, in theory and often more or less in practice, with competitive markets.

This is just fundamental micro-economics. The monopolist produces less, and charges more, than a supplier operating in a competitive market.

Now, some things tend to natural monopolies. These are situations where marginal costs consistently decline. Each new unit of output, or customer, costs less than the last one. In that situation competitors cannot catch up. Hence there is a strong argument for government involvement, because the total benefit to society is less than it would be if there were competition involved.

Here endeth the lesson.

hese are situations where marginal costs consistently decline. Each new unit of output, or customer, costs less than the last one. In that situation competitors cannot catch up.

And that is, pretty much, what we see with cable Internet connections. The cables were already there (for TV), and could just add on the Internet (and land-line phone, at least in our area). Adding additional houses, when some already have cable, is cheap. Someone looking to lay fiber around town from scratch is looking at enormous initial costs; costs that Comcast et al. long since amortized.

I wouldn’t have thought of pushing government supplied internet as a major issue a year ago ( though maybe because I never thought about it) but with the end of net neutrality, what sort of control do we have over the behavior of monopolists? None that I can see. So I think we should declare one political war on the ISP’s. Threaten them with takeover, do whatever t takes, make their very existence a political issue.

Some of us ( probably a lot of us) are old enough to remember the pre internet era, where the mainstream press pretty much told us what reality was and they chose to print or not print any letter you wrote in greatly shortened form. You could subscribe to the fringe left publications or read fringe left authors like Chomsky. If you didn’t agree with, say, the mainstream view on Israel and someone thought you sounded like an antisemitic nutcase or if you thought the US was guilty of mass murder, you couldn’t send them links to HRW reports or BTselem or whatever. You couldn’t discuss things with others online or easily participate in email campaigns launched by organizations with easily accessible websites. There is a downside to the internet— we can all live in our own little cognitive bubbles if we choose. But now it is a choice.

I think that choice could get taken away. I don’t trust anybody to restrict t he sorts of websites that are easily accessible ( I also don’t trust people who want to decide for others which sites are fake news). If we start having to pay more to see certain parts of the web and less to see the approved portions it isn’t censorship because the government isn’t doing it. But it will have the same result.

Hope I am wrong.

In the news just now, Senator McCain is going home from the hospital to Arizona. Which means that, if just 2 GOP Senators decide to vote No, the tax abomination is toast. Not even a chance for the VP to break a tie.

Granted, it doesn't look like there will be two. But then, there didn't look to be the votes to stop the ACA repeal either. Hope springs eternal....

...costs that Comcast et al. long since amortized.

Comcast (or their predecessor) has offered high-speed data in my suburb (115K people west of Denver) for 20 years now. Their current standard offering is already 75Mbps down, 6 Mbps up. For the last year they have been putting an enormous amount of new fiber in here (I'm getting tired of dodging the lane closures). I assume there will be a big push to gigabit speeds using DWDM to the customer in the next year or so.

I don't know what their annual construction budget for outside plant is nationally, but would be surprised if it were not in the low billions of dollars.

true that, wj. But which two? Highly principled Senators like Rand Paul who claims to abhor deficit spending?

Oh, wait. Hahahahahahahaha!

Bobby, my totally off-the-wall guess: Collins and Murkowski. Collins because she is looking to run for Governor in the not too distant future, and has seen enough to know that she probably wouldn't actually get what she has been promised. Murkowski because, having won her seat as an Independent, she knows she doesn't actually have to worry that much about getting primaried (again) for not supporting it.

I think it's also not impossible that Corker might rediscover his backbone, if the bill would actually fail with his vote. (If it is going to pass anyway, why make waves? But if he could turn the tide...?)

I assume there will be a big push to gigabit speeds using DWDM to the customer in the next year or so.

old neighborhood, one mile away from where we are now, i could get 30Mbs, cable. when we lived in our interim apartment in a more urban part of the area, we could get 300Mbps, cable.

in my neighborhood right now, the best i can get is 9.5 / 0.75 Mbps. DSL. Time Warner has no interest in stringing cable down our 1 mile road.

a mile and a half down the road, we have friends who can't get 1Mbps. they have to use cellular.

Collins because she is looking to run for Governor in the not too distant future

No, she is not, though about a hundred other people are. I believe nothing else she says, but I do believe her when she says this.

Senator McCain is going home from the hospital to Arizona.

When is Cochran going to be back from his latest medical problem? Flake's office reportedly said today that he hasn't made up his mind; to the best of my recollection, he's eventually fallen in line each time despite tough talk.

Janie,

What is the story on Collins way up north there?

I honestly don't understand her support of the tax abomination. Wasn't she worried about Medicare cuts? And hasn't Ryan pretty much promised that he will go after Medicare?

Plus, Maine has a significant income tax.

Can you provide any local insights?

Some of us (probably a lot of us) are old enough to remember the pre internet era

haha! I'm older than that.

I remember the Fairness Doctrine, when freedom of speech and freedom of the press was "threatened" by people with unfortunate haircuts offering their opinions on topics ranging from war and peace to bus schedule changes.

It was a different time.

Bernie -- I have one insight that I consider local and rock solid, and some opinions that you can take for what you paid for them. ;-)

The local insight, which I have asserted quite a few times on blogs (including here, I'm sure) is that Susan Collins is never, ever, ever, ever going to switch parties. I think anyone who knows anything about the Ds and Rs in Maine beyond the newspaper headlines would say that. I've seen it speculated about online by people outside Maine, but no, it ain't gonna happen.

I did see a headline, I think in the NYT the other day, the possibility of her switching to be an independent. I wouldn't bet on that, either, but I wouldn't say it's as impossible as her becoming a D.

It's relevant to her popularity that the vast majority of people are not political junkies. She's well-liked personally, and she is actually *not* a hard right-winger if you look at the totality of her voting record. Plus she gets a disgusting amount of mileage out of the grandstanding she does (often, in the past, with McCain) as a mavericky rebel; no one sees the minor hidden paragraph four days later about how she/they voted with the party in the end after all.

I also think that Maine has

1) a lot of old-fashioned New Englandy Republicans who are like a nun I once met who said of a Pope she didn't like and a direction she didn't like the church going in, "It's our church too." Meaning she wasn't going to leave the church just because the head of it was a jerk. I respected that nun's argument at the time; the Rs who are in effect doing the same thing now baffle me, to put it quite ridiculously politely; and

2) quite a few, and probably an increasing number of, hard right-wingers. District 2's electoral vote went to the R, and their congressman is a slithery R...whose appeal (unlike Susan's) I just cannot fathom.

Margaret Chase Smith is one of her role models. When Clickbait was elected, I was hoping that there would come a Margaret Chase Smith moment for Collins, but that was apparently a naive pipe dream. Plus -- and I can't find it in a quick search right now -- Margaret Chase Smith's famous speech against McCarthy was preceded (or followed?) by her saying bad things about Democrats. Your party has been co-opted by an evil maniac? Eh, there's still no reason to give the Ds any credit, or to reconsider whether you really want to agree so faithfully on policy with people like this administration or these Congressional Rs.

FWIW. Which is mostly to serve as discussion fodder.

Janie,

Thanks.

It does occur to me that, at least occasionally, a reputation as a maverick is enhanced by actually being one when it counts.

And the vote on this tax bill won't be a "minor hidden paragraph four days later" -- it's going to be a front page headline, impossible to miss. Will that be enough? Perhaps not. But I think it may up the odds a little.

Will that be enough? Perhaps not. But I think it may up the odds a little.

Do you mean "enough to get her to vote against it"?

She hasn't even been splashily mavericky on this one. She had her usual "concerns" and then she got some private promises from some people who weren't in a position to keep them and then she voted for the bill.

I mean, I'll be ecstatic if the bill fails. But if she votes against it and it still passes, she got cover, that's all.

wj,

Republicans ALWAYS cave. The clever ones play "maverick" for our gullible Broderist media. For a while. Long enough to keep idealists believing that the GOP can be cured of its prion disease from the inside. But when it comes to bucking the NRA, the Christianists, or god forbid right-wing billionaires, even slightly, Republicans ALWAYS cave.

If Susan Collins, John McCain, Jeff Flake, Bob Corker and their ilk represent the stiffest spines the GOP has to offer, then the GOP as a species is several evolutionary steps removed from the class of vertebrates.

--TP

Republicans ALWAYS cave.

Pray forgive my sometimes terrible memory. But I seem to recall the ACA repeal failing to pass. In a Senate with a clear majority of Republicans. Do I remember wrongly?

Now if you were to argue that most Republicans always cave, or even that all Republicans usually cave -- that's one thing. (Although I would note that the Democrats have done extremely well at keeping everyone on-side when it mattered, so perhaps the Republicans are not quite unique here.)

But "always" appears to be just a trifle excessive. Unless, it occurs to me, you are merely being careful to avoid any hopes which might not be fulfilled. Not, you may have noticed, my approach to the world, but I realize that others have other preferences.

Or, Republicans almost always end up voting for bills that primarily create policy with which they agree. These are not bills implementing bad or evil things they fundamentally disagree with, they are bills that have some provisions that they don't like. Ultimately they are negotiating the most they can and then voting for Republican bills, because they are Republicans.

Ultimately they are negotiating the most they can and then voting for Republican bills, because they are Republicans.

yup.

the tax bill is what it is because (R)'s wrote it. if it passes, it will pass on a basically (or perhaps entirely) party line vote.

the bill reflects the priorities that (R)'s have been running on for 40 years now. nothing more, nothing less.

Indirectly, local insights of a different sort, maybe ripe for fisking?

"Ultimately they are negotiating the most they can and then voting for Republican bills, because they are Republicans."

Ultimately they are negotiating the most for themselves personally and then voting for Republican bills, because they are paid to do so."

https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2017/12/corker-knows-nuthin-bout-corkerkickback.html

When zookeepers muck out the crocodile or the big cat enclosures at the zoo, they are reminded that these things are predators.

The tax bill is 1000 pages, most of it sight unseen. It may be blank sheets of paper for all we know, like the Potemkin stacks of fed regs apparently inscribed with disappearing ink rump likes to use as props.

Haven't heard a single conservative around here whinging about the tax bills difficult readability, compared to the 500-plus page ACA.

Ultimately, voting for pure lying pig shit.

Fareed Zakaria:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-tax-bill-may-be-the-worst-piece-of-legislation-in-modern-history/2017/12/14/c1def814-e119-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html?utm_term=.a599c90d8fb8

Good:

https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/12/13/how-the-gop-is-quietly-sabotaging-gun-regulations/

We're going to need all of the untracked military weaponry possible.

the bill reflects the priorities that (R)'s have been running on for 40 years now. nothing more, nothing less.

and it's darkly amusing that their first major legislative accomplishment, a full halfway through this House session, is that most Republican of Republican priorities: tax cuts for the rich. literally the only thing they can do is the one thing that they always do.

they're the AC/DC of politics: proudly making the same record since 1974.

the bill reflects the priorities that (R)'s have been running on for 40 years now. nothing more, nothing less.

it's darkly amusing that the only thing they've been able to accomplish is the same thing they always accomplish - that most Republican of all Republican accomplishments: cutting taxes for the rich. literally all they can do is the same thing they always do.

they're the AC/DC of politics: putting out the same half-assed record since 1974.

The B-side on that single is cutting spending on everyone else, particularly the poor, the sick, the elderly, and children.

They do care about deficits, but only in so far as they serve as a bludgeon.

We're on the verge of nuclear war. There will be no butter.

The Mueller investigative team is butter.

Trump's friends...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42393540

Haven't heard a single conservative around here whinging about the tax bills difficult readability, compared to the 500-plus page ACA.

That's all true, but the bill is pretty simple, really. There's a lot of funky edge case crap to pull in the last few votes they need, but it boils down to this.

Big cut in the corporate tax rate.
Big cut for pass-throughs.
Double the standard deduction, which will be a modest benefit for some folks, and a net increase in tax liability for others.

All of it paid for by loading another $1.5T on the national debt over ten years.

Some of that may be recouped by economic growth, all of it almost certainly will not.

The gap between "some of that" and "all of that" remains to be seen.

There are some side effects that are less obvious, and which will not be so great for the middle-class. Folks will figure that out over time. Or, some will, some won't.

Next up, entitlement cuts. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. It's what they've been running on for 40 years, this is their moment, they're gonna go for it while they can.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad