Dots w/ jots: T minus 1

Analysis: True http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/president-obama-faces-white-house-press-corps-one-last-time-n708391 To say that ‘America is going to be fine’, he’s got to be in possession of proper wisdoms about the Constitution, checks and balances, and the superlative qualities of America… he’s an American exceptionalist is what he is. I mean it.

Commutations and pardons: I’m all for it. Commute away, Obama.

The unvetted, unqualified Trump cabinet: Hey now, Obama nominated the thoroughly deficient Eric Holder for AG and he was confirmed… This ain’t topping that.

We’re doing the 80’s over: http://theweek.com/speedreads/674163/donald-trump-about-nuclear-launch-codes-heres-what-that-means I remember the same lament when Reagan took office…“He’s a warmonger! (…ours was a Democrat household…). We’re not going to have rash nukings borne of Trump’s childish temperament, alright. But my larger point… the current zeitgeist feels like the 80’s.

This news seems kinda fakey: HHS Sec nominee Tom Price’s stock trading: http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2017/01/18/tom_price_s_stock_trading_scandal_isn_t_going_away.html The implication is Price traded in health care stocks and ETFs at a time when there were bills before congress whose passage would impact these businesses… One detail is he bought $10k give or take worth of Zimmer Biomet. You know what that is at prices over the last couple years? Like 100 shares. You know what you profit on $1 worth of price appreciation on 100 shares of stock? Yeah, $100. The man has an 8 figure net worth, he’s not shepherding legislation through congress to goose stocks such that they return a couple hundred or a couple thousand more a year. Nor is he picking stocks based on their ability to return a couple hundred or a couple thousand more a year b/c of congress’ actions. ETFs… same. These are not volatile enough make for an enriching ‘insider trading’ gambit. There’s no way that the explanation for Price’s stock trading is not true, and mundane…

That’s why you got Trump… There’s this line of blaming that says the excesses of Obama gives us Trump. And then maybe its retort, that anti-Obama–ism gave us Trump. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/trumps-the-legacy-of-anti-obamaism-not-obama.html Ultimately, with these you’re trying to argue for who Trump can be pinned on, clever-by-half Democrats or deplorable Republicans. I’m not sure ultimately that any a bunch of little butterfly effect blow backs are bigger than the fact the pendulum was just going to swing dislocatingly hard…. But I would pin Trump specifically on the Democrats for the mere fact that they obsoleted the ‘career killing scandal’ for sake of a ‘scandal free’ Obama administration. IRS, Fast and Furious, VA… there were some things that were plenty big and scandal-y, and they were pooh-poohed. Which is why Trump doesn’t get sunk by that fact he gropes women and has a fraudulent for-profit school and doesn’t pay taxes. Republican voters learned by example they could pooh-pooh any and all of it, not be shamed out of not having him be the candidate.

MLB deep track: Goltz v. Niekro

ZOMG, MLB deep track, game 163 playoff game, 1980 NL West, Dodgers v Stros, Dave Goltz v Joe Niekro, Uecker and Al Micheals on pxp, Toni Tennille singing the national anthem…

Goltz is from Rothsay, down the way from Fargo… He was the Twins best pitcher in the 1970’s, then was one of baseballs first big money free agents.  I was a ‘fan’ of his as a boy, but as a 10 year old, I had no idea of what it was I was a fan of… was he a power pitcher?  A control artist?

Now I know.  This is probably the only decent telecast of him that made it to archive on youtube.

He was a good pitcher but not a great star.  6’ 4” righthander with a sinker… IE, a plus fastball with some right side run at 92, 93… and a knuckle curve.  This is a common form today, Twins have one of these guys now, say Kyle Gibson.

Jots w/ dots 1/13/17

Golden Showers: I’m just some rube software guy with an opinion, and this was a bit of my observation a few days ago. “The poor grammar and shaky spelling plus the author’s use of KGB-style intelligence reporting, however, do not fit the image of a high-end London security company run by highly connected former British intelligence figures.” http://www.forbes.com/sites/paulroderickgregory/2017/01/13/the-trump-dossier-is-false-news-and-heres-why/#501097d655f1

Pillow man / Music man. There was a time in my life when I tried fiction writing. Part of the fiction process is writing down story ideas on index cards…I had an idea once about a con man who starts a con, but through serendipity ends up with a successful business venture that helps a bunch of people. Well, you go on in life and read more, and one finds that story / script got written: it’s ‘The Music Man’, staple of so many high school musicals and dinner theater. A grittier treatment would make for a good contemporary movie though, and here’s your ‘based on real events’ protagonist: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2017-01-11/the-preposterous-success-story-of-america-s-pillow-king Guy is a bit of Trump-ist though, which is unappealing. We have a set of these pillows. They are quite alright as pillows go, and his basic insight about the superiority over down pillows seems correct.

I have been meaning to do a post on intersectionalism: https://theweek.com/articles/672265/liberals-are-drunk-political-poison-called-intersectionality I think this is true, and a coming disaster for the Democrats for reasons Linker describes, ie, the overt marriage of the party platform to “identity politics” is going to repel, ya know “normal people”. Another thing though, is this weighing of whose racial grievance is most valid, all based on how badly you’ve been oppressed by the hegemony…. It’s a Marxist class dialectical exercise. Go do that, Democrats, keep right on choosing your destructor …

Eye on Kerri Miller, who I’ve always kind of liked: http://www.startribune.com/mpr-s-kerri-miller-to-host-national-call-in-show/410643905/ The call in political radio show is actually kind of dead. I mean, such that we understood this to actually exist in right wing media… by which I mean, these callers to Hannity etc are all fake… actors basically.

This news seems fakey: Kompromat

The Trump debauchery w/ hookers in Moscow story there… I’m not buying it. The details have the feel of being calibrated to tickle the outrage prurience of about every political leaning. Doesn’t feel organic, feels contrived.

Other thing is… I’ve been reading the supposed set of raw intelligence docs on Buzzfeed. Being worldly in at least the ways of process and so moved here to contemplate how intelligence apparatus’ must work on a day to day basis, I can perceive that an operative’s grind is just writing notes every day as a matter of creating knowledge artifacts. This creation of knowledge artifacts has analogs in many industries now actually, and there’s good software built for the process.

…These raw notes look like shit, like someone has an unending Word document on their desktop devoted for this purpose. I just have my doubts this is normative practice these days in a world of clever software.

The correct word to describe hacking’s effect in the election is…

Chait and Drum and a few others are in conniptions that Trump has said Russian hacking had ‘no effect’ or ‘zero effect’ on the election. They accuse him of lying, based essentially on the matter of truth that the Russian hacking / leaking happened. Cuz, because it happened, there’s then a non-zero chance that it impacted the election. If something happened one should assume there’s impact amirite, even if it’s not easily measurable.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/01/trump-invents-new-fallback-lie-on-russian-hacking.html

http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/01/did-putin-swing-election-trump-course-he-did

This is not wrong…. Russian hacking / leaking did happen, so it did have an impact. … But this argument is a little bit Boolean theoromy and pedantic.

Thing is, there’s about 5 great superseding, easily discernable (in hindsight), understandable as truth reasons why Hillary lost. They are:

** The two term pendulum swing.

** that Hillary was going to underperform Obama significantly no matter what, just because she’s a terrible, uninspiring candidate, deficient in comparison to Obama by several leagues. Do I need to elaborate on this? (No.) Just recall that Obama had a convincing victory in ’08 and a comfortable victory in ’12. If Hillary was not of Obama quality to attain either ‘convincing victory’ or ‘comfortable victory’, what’s left was ‘possible victory’ and ‘defeat’. So it was dicey for her to start. Especially in collision with “two term pendulum swing”

**After that, one must acknowledge the Brexit-ish nature of this country’s political mood right now, which has a bit to do with xenophobic-ness and whatnot… Let’s generalize and say Hillary and the Democrats want open borders. Hillary had the disadvantage of being the non-Brexit candidate at a moment when the country’s mood was Brexit-ish. This was demonstrated by some Wikileaks material but not revealed by it. We knew this already, no one voted for Trump because of the Goldman Sachs speeches. I would assert Stein got some votes because of the Goldman Sachs speech reveals, and the ‘Nader vote’ in this election was not an irrelevancy.

**For an election where the result is constantly characterized as so racial, there’s not a lot of explicit articulation for what this is all about: a white prole and bourgeois reaction against BLM. Hillary and the Democrats are ostensibly BLM sympathetic, Trump is ostensibly “law and order”… it’s right to sense some votes were swung from nominal Democrats to Trump on this topic. [The blog here is fairly pro BLM, btw.]

**You’d think we’re in an era where all the nominal Democrat votes in the heartland that can be swung to the GOP have been, but its probably right that there were XX,000 new ones this time that got swung as a reaction to the Democrats contemporary emphasis on gay wedding cakes and trans bathrooms. [The blog here is pro marriage-equality, btw.]

If the victory depends on 100K votes in WI, MI, OH, and PA, those 5 reasons can explain all 100K votes. At that point, the Russian hacking / leaking is…

Inconsequential

That’s the correct word to use, and literally accurate where ‘no effect’ and ‘zero effect’ are not. Trump doesn’t use inconsequential, but that’s not because he’s a lying liar (which he is, generally)… it’s because he’s a man limited to 3 syllable words by his Queens goombah vocabulary.

PS:

It’s not like I think this pussy footing with the Russians is a great thing. I don’t.

We can admit Mitt Romney was right now, can’t we, the Russians are the biggest threat…

In a world where Pax-Americana is dead , by the consensus of all, and we don’t give a shit about enlarging the spheres of American style western democracy, I don’t see how Trump is wrong that the logical course is American/Russian collegiality for its own sake (while the Russians continue on as the barbarians that they are…).