I can’t quite get my head around the crazy this week. Ted Cruz announced his Veep running mate today — despite the facts that a) that usually is reserved for actual nominees and b) that usually gets done so as to shore up alliances and produce the strongest overall ticket. And who was his pick? A retired General maybe? A well-liked Governor, perhaps? Wait, no, maybe a member of Bush’s cabinet?
Nope. Failed candidate, failed CEO, and barely passed the Turing test: Carly Fiorina. See, picking a veep is something you do to make your ticket more likable, not less. But I suppose this is what desperation looks like.
Meanwhile, one of the Koch Brothers has gotten disgusted with the clowns coming out of the circus they’ve been funding. As the supposed Chinese curse says, “May you live in interesting times.” More accurate in this case: “Lay down with dogs, get up with fleas.”
In Closing: a couple items on the job prospects of the Millennials and others; who am I kidding, I’m not gonna write a whole post about HarrietTubman; Juice; British notice reality of a trade agreement; Judge points out the actual meaning of “in plain sight’; and oops.
On why making the No Fly List also a No Gun List is really a bad idea: It’s absurdly easy to be put on the list, even if you aren’t even in preschool yet. There’s no due process to get off it. And exactly how many mass shootings have been committed by people who were already on the list? Judging from media coverage, I’d say that number must be very close to zero.
Dumbing Down: Even Sesame Street is dumbing down America and making us feel less safe.
What you should really be afraid of: Unexpected expenses: 63% of us are in deep financial doodoo if the transmission dies, the water heater springs a leak, or some other $500 expense pops up.
Another unfortunately rational fear:Death by law enforcement.
There is quite the local controversy surrounding exactly what students should be taught about their own bodies and sexuality in the 5th largest school district in the nation, Clark County School District. CCSD, to its credit, wants to teach more and make sure students get more accurate information. Students want that too. Parents, on the other hand, want to sharply limit what their kids learn, and they want to keep an “opt-in” mechanism so that parents actually have to sign a piece of paper saying it’s ok to teach kids about sex education.
Now here’s the thing. Well over 99.9% of school kids do in fact have either a vagina or a penis. Sure, I’ll allow for a small chance somebody doesn’t have one or the other. Those same parents who want to “control” how exactly how much their kids know about sex are not teaching them enough, and they aren’t starting early enough. These are the kind of parents who don’t bother to mention to a girl that she will get a period someday, waiting until the inevitable menarche panic. These are exactly the parents whose kids most desperately need sex ed.
Interested in more of my musings on this and related topics? Here’s Shelby Knox, contraceptives prevent abortions, and twisting the facts. Oh, and what do you call people who use the rhythm method of birth control? Parents!
In Closing: the return of the MERS controversy; Joe Biden’s TPP problem; wasn’t supposed to say that in public (but hey, in the summer of 2007 Hillary seemed inevitable too); internet hacks for students; gosh, that headline means something completely different until you get to the last two words; your elected representatives don’t care what your opinion is.
In Closing: There are folks out there still trying to ram the TPP through before anybody can ask pesky questions like “what’s in it”; in which an economist slaps down the political blogger; on inflation; even diet experts disagree about diet (except for a handful of obvious facts like “veggies are good for you,” “drink enough water,” and “too much sugar is bad for you”); and it’s the Supreme Court!
So everybody knows now that JEB! Bush has said some, ahem, ill advised things about worker productivity, right? By now pretty much everybody who isn’t huddled up on the far ultraright end of the spectrum with Donald Trump’s hair has weighed in. Here’s an economist, twice, a CNBC commentator (you know, where people talk about business?), a Moderate, and more smartpeople. By morning, there are likely to be more people saying similar things.
In Closing: Pow Pao!; evidence that we mostly need better enforcement of gun laws; rich people habits you can (mostly) do too; the IRS will never ever call you to say you owe money; Sure they did (and I totally thwarted 3 tiger attacks last weekend — hey, you didn’t hear about any tiger attacks in Vegas last weekend, now did you??); trade deficit; “lemme take a selfie“; bad charting; Disney Princes.
So Scott Pelley pointed out that it’s “only” 594 days until the 2016 elections and what were candidates waiting for. Um, what?
So anyway I have this survey from the Democrats about Hillary’s potential presidential bid. I notice there’s not an option for “No, I don’t think she should run at all!” And no, I don’t want candidates who have to be “pressed” to run on progressive ideals; I want an actual progressive to run! Better yet, I want that progressive to stay progressive after election day.
No, not Elizabeth Warren. She’s more important where she is.
So, just to make sure you’re up to speed before we get rolling. Uber put together service in Nevada arguing that they’re just a technology service that happens to connect consumers to people who are willing to drive them in private cars for a fee but they’re so not a taxi service. It looks like a duck and quacks like a duck but somehow it isn’t a duck. Nevada courts said “What you’re doing is illegal. Stop it!” Some days later Uber said “Ok fine, we’ll stop breaking the law but we’ll bury you under a petition until you let us do whatever we want, bwahahahaha!”
Since then, Uber has had a couple of little assault problems in other states, which is unfortunately nothing new. In one country, Uber has decided they don’t give a darn about being banned. Yeah, way to show how much you want to follow the law by simply ignoring it.
Got that? Ok.
Today the Review Journal published an article that begins by saying all Nevada has to do is copy-paste some other state’s laws to make it all good. Later down, concessions are made that yeah, we kinda have to address the public safety issues. And sorry, the safety issues do go beyond what kind of insurance they are required to have and what kind of background checks drivers need. Keep in mind that Nevada requires background checks and fingerprints on hand for a whole bunch of professions (including real estate agents and casino workers), so I’m one of the people who thinks its reasonable for Uber drivers to give them up too. Most of the coverage I have seen doesn’t mention that in Nevada, taxi drivers have commercial drivers licenses and have to pass a DOT physical every couple of years. Further, taxis get regular professional maintenance, which is something you can’t count on from one of the independent contractors using private cars for Uber.
So the short version is that the only easy fix is for Uber to follow the same rules that taxi companies currently follow in Nevada. Anyone who believes otherwise doesn’t understand the problem (or doesn’t want to).
In Closing:Tardigrade; “Nobody’s paying attention anymore? Good! Scrap the plans to scale back mass surveillance”; translating Joni Ernst.
Do you tend to order the same thing at restaurants? Or do you like to jump around the menu?
Answer: yes. It depends where I am. There are places where I just want the one or two things that I know are awesome. There are other places where I am busy trying new things. Remember, Vegas is a world class food city! Sorry, I don’t have much more to say about the issue than that.
In Closing: no regard for the Supreme Court; catching the cold; one Indiana lawmaker doesn’t think you should have a choice whether you raise a child with severe disabilities; cybersecurity; doing the same thing and expecting different results; finally somebody said it out loud.
Some people in Congress — by which I mean Republicans — have been ranting about how the President can’t do this or can’t do that because it’s unconstitutional (even though those accursed commie libruls can point to Republican presidents who have done the exact same thing.
Well guess what? I can point to at least two things that Republicans want to destroy that are explicitly required by the Constitution. The PostOffice is mandated under Article I, section 8, and the Census by Article I, section 1.
So the next time some right wing blowhard tells you how the President is shredding the Constitution, remind him to read the freaking document. The NSA, TSA, CIA, FBI, DEA, FISA, IRS, INS, and a whole lot of other government entities they couldn’t imagine doing without aren’t there, but the Post Office and the Census are specifically mentioned in the first freaking article of the Constitution. Stuff that in your conservative pipe and smoke away.
It’s the Food: It turns out that people do pay attention to nutrition labels. That’s a good thing, because soon and very soon obesity will overtake tobacco as the #1 killer of Americans. Have some truth in comic form.
Zombies!!: Well sure, they aren’t allowed to try and collect it, but they can still claim you owe it!
Act Two is Coming to Ferguson: The grand jury will speak soon. And it looks like the police are prepared for anything that happens… by which I mean that they are heavily armed in a manner that is itself inflammatory.
On Privacy, not Piracy: Americans are aware of how little privacy they may have.
A few last election items: Yeah, voters are disappointed in Democrats. Yeah Republicans simply “lost less.” And yeah, anybody who wants to win in 2016 better pay attention to how things are going for normal Americans.
And Finally: It would appear that I am the one person in America that does not give a single **** about Kim Kardashian’s ass.