Super Bowl 50, etc

Bernie on SNL was fine, he’s kind of got an ‘it’ factor oddly enough

Liberal and conservative outrage dujour  http://hotair.com/archives/2016/02/08/i-suppose-we-should-talk-about-that-doritos-ultrasound-ad/  Everything’s got to be political….

Opioid pooping commercial  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/08/this-super-bowl-ad-proved-just-how-much-america-loves-its-opioid-painkillers/  Kind of took me aback when I saw it, like hey, this is where the country is now…  We got a crisis going right http://www.nationalreview.com/article/430886/heroin-addiction-crisis-doctor-sentenced-murder-prescribing-opiates  I’ll just say, it’s at odds with my relevant experience with this zeitgiest.  My mother had her hips done in the last couple years, and the physicians were pretty stingy with their opioid prescriptions.  AND…I had invasive surgery on my leg for a staph infection 17 months ago.  Briefly, I found opioids the only thing effective for post-surgical pain, but when the pain subsided… I didn’t have a craving for opioids that lingered.  I’m not saying I have an accurate perspective, I’m saying I’m puzzled by what’s going on.

What about Rubio’s gaffffeshttp://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/rubio-debate-spinners-doing-worlds-hardest-job.html I didn’t see this happen.  http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-07/marco-rubio-faces-the-risk-of-going-off-script  I really doubt it’s a big deal, and if it is, then Cruz is the nominee… which I can live with.

Granite state prediction

Prediction: Rubio wins the GOP NH primary.

Chait Stains:  Sanders HC math doesn’t add up.  http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/bernie-sanders-health-care-plan-does-not-add-up.html  Uh, sure.  Sanders math doesn’t add up.  But it’s fair to say Chait and his brethren knew ObamaCare / PPACA budget numbers were a pack of lies from front to back, so it’s curious the circumstances by which Sander’s proposal here is to be evaluated literally rather than as a values signal where his lie would be understood as a noble lie.  I mean, that’s the length you have to go to argue for Hilary because of her preference as the ‘electable’ candidate?  Chait’s insincerity is a bit much there.  He did pull some punches, he didn’t call Sanders a liar or crazy like he would a Republican.

Related:  Cadillac tax is going to die and with it its fake revenue stream http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2016-02-04/obamacare-s-cadillac-tax-will-not-survive  You got some WH policy douches trying to rework it in a way that allows it to live, I’m sure under the assumption that if it lives it can be allowed to creep up and have a tax bite…. But it won’t, it will be rescinded.

Medicare for all:  http://www.wrywingpolitics.com/the-health-reform-middle-ground-between-bernie-and-hillary/  I think this notion of “buying into Medicare” as the public option is dead, and ObamaCare killed it.

I’m not snarking, this is pure analysis.  Thing is, Medicare is ostensibly paid for by FICA taxes, and that revenue pool pays for retiree medical benefits, and its ostensibly doing a little better than breakeven (now).  If you are to change it so the public at large can “buy in to medicare” for their medical insurance, then you have to actuarially price a premium for those new payers and coverees.  And it’s going to be no less difficult or cheaper than when the private companies set premiums for their PPACA exchange plans.  I dunno… I perceive a ‘Medicare public option’ premium payment that’s reflective of ‘real’ market prices being a deal breaker for those who this is supposed to appeal to.  Whole thing does not offer any advantages over the private companies in the exchanges.

97% consensus: don’t drink while pregnant or planning to be  This has got science behind it right?  So you got to believe it or be a denier… http://www.vox.com/2016/2/5/10923868/drinking-alcohol-while-pregnant

Its crap, alright?  A woman can have a drink on the eve of pregnancy or during, and have wonderful babies…  I got a whole family tree full of gals to prove it, along with those in a multitude of other people’s family trees through the ages that proves it…

Its agenda driven crap, and I can know this with certitude without being an epidemiologist….. Just like I can know with certitude that global warming is agenda driven crap and a non-problem while not having a climatologists education.

The answer is No  http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2016/02/04/obama_to_propose_new_tax_on_oil.html  And not like it’s going to happen.  But a thing here….

It’s extraordinarily regressive.  So if it gets enacted, it imparts some effect where poor / moderate income people’s effective tax rate starts creeping up there comparative to affluent / rich people…. Which would, ya know, then create the opportunity for the Vox kids to create a graph and show how taxes aren’t really very progressive in this country…which makes for an argument to raise high bracket income tax rates.

Nevermind the GP, the Ds have some chaos brewinghttp://hotair.com/archives/2016/02/05/hmmm-quinnipiac-puts-national-dem-primary-at-dead-heat/  Myself, I don’t actually live in a Republican bubble.  My wife and a slim majority of the people I associate with are Democrats…. And they all want Sanders in the way they wanted Obama.  You got a big problem once Hilary wins the nomination, that being, a lot of these people are not going to turn out for her.  The post-mortem when Rubio wins is going to be what a dreadful decision it was to reserve the Democrat party’s POTUS slot for her.

Obviously, everyone should be a STEM worker

Apparently the average earnings of a MSP tech worker is about $100K, having strode past that bright line in the last year.

http://bringmethenews.com/2016/01/30/salaries-for-tech-workers-are-on-the-rise-especially-in-twin-cities/

I imagine this is a fair reflection of reality.  It’s been a good labor market for techies here.  I’ll just do my Studs Terkel thing now (IE, his book “Working”), put aside polite discretion and lay out a candid example.

My last check in Dec showed a gross of $99K +, just short of $100K.  I was off much of September where I was not paid.  My taxable was in the 70’s, might have been the low 70’s.  Paid $15K+in insurance premiums for a couple w/ dependent minor children, then doing prudent shit like 7% for 401K and max withholding on taxes.  I think my paycheck deposits were $55k. Ya know, there’s a sideline observation to make about how $100k is the new $75K, and I’m think I’m prepared to demonstrate it by my example cuz it often feels like we’re just getting by (… suburban / exurban living ‘getting by’)…  but I do feel like I’m out there with some autonomy and getting paid well.

When we talk about averages, I think it’s important to understand…. The average is made up of different skill sets with different labor market prices, but also it’s made up of people on different points in wage earning maturity…  I was 46 yrs old most of last year, and have been plying my trade 17 yrs.  I’d say my skill set is getting to be a premium one, and senior level.  The kids that enter the business as junior programmers… they might make $40k… but that’s for a short time.

So should everyone go into STEM?  Do they need to go to college? To do it?  http://www.startribune.com/many-see-coding-boot-camps-as-a-fast-track-to-jobs/367161711/

I’m sort of surprised at how few people want to be IT people, as if they don’t think they have the aptitude, or because cube farms are a turn off.  Kind of a soft limit on how many people will enter the business here domestically, and will keep wages up.

I think there is definitely a path where you do a code boot camp as a twenty something and are a $125k java programmer by the time you are 30.  I work with a few of these kids.  You do have to like coding to be that guy or gal.

These kids that are starting on the help desk…. I started on the help desk.  That’s a fine entry point to the business.

Man my age needs to ponder that they’re topped out re wages and advancement…  I am pursuing java coding, which is and will remain in demand at a premium to the ‘average’ tech worker.

I knew Trump would not win Iowa

See last Thursday’s post.

It’s a binary proposition, right.  He either finishes first and wins or does not finish first and does not win.  So to pick one side of a Boolean / binary proposition…. there’s not innate impressive difficulty there except that it was to go against a pretty dominant conventional wisdom and as such it was almost a counterintuitive prediction (boy there was a lot of pants shitting that he was going to win…).

Well… it wasn’t really counter-intuitive.  It was rather intuitive, in fact, that he would not win.  It was just that there was quite a bit of herd mentality / mass psychosis preventing a plurality / majority of the punditry from discerning the most likely outcome.  Which is / was, that you can’t win caucuses and primaries without a base of people behind you that are in the habit of voting in caucuses and primaries.  And that, you need a real ground effort on which a shit-ton of money is spent.  Trump does not have that, so he does not win (though the amount of people who voted for him is not insubstantial).

You’re also going against the polls at that point, and we had a few years ago the Republicans being embarrassed for their fixation with ‘skewed’ polls.  But I had here some sense these Iowa polls were in fact crap… people doing a bunch of, ya know, virtue signaling on the telephone.

Anywho, the thought exercise here daily is to make insightful, correct observations free of fan worshipping or alternately paranoia, and I’m doing it… I think.

I see it as Rubio in the end, because he’s the R establishment candidate and is a quality candidate in his own right.  And I think it highly likely he prevails over Clinton or Sanders, not because Republican policy prescriptions are best….  But because he’s a better candidate.  It takes a lot for this country to elect a geriatric to the Presidency, and HRC or Sanders don’t have what it takes to be an exception.

The inner dialogue of the urbane left: Sanders v Clinton as a choice between idealism and pragmatism

A few years years back liberals did a lot of chortling over the Rove-ian notion that you don’t accept the confines of circumstance, IE, you need to aspire and act in pursuit of things beyond the superficial , practical ‘reality base’.

http://theweek.com/articles/601420/left-vs-realitybased-community

Now, fair to say it was the mere word-play there that inspired a lot of the chortling, and notions of who lived in reality and who didn’t.

But the decision making / evaluation operandi is supposed to be that you act with some disregard to the assumptions of your circumstance and, I dunno, see a corresponding shift of the paradigm / Overton window of potentiality that is accommodating to whatever you wanted to accomplish as you start accomplishing it.

It’s a bit too hopeful, too circular, and something of a triumph of the will mindset.   And Linker sees the Sanders supporting left making the Rove mistake in having a disregard for immutable reality.  He’s right.  I’d say it this way…. The reason progressivisim rightfully pursues incrementalism within a democracy is because incrementalism doesn’t incite an electoral revolt that ultimately squashes your progressive movement.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/01/what-sanders-doesnt-understand-about-politics.html

Problem is, that leaves you with Hillary.

Other:

Bernie really is playing the long game…. he won’t come out as an atheist to sprint ahead in the (D) nomination contest….  http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/01/27/bernie_sanders_believes_in_a_version_of_god_he_says.html  gehar, gehar

Trump:  I think this is the high water mark.  Middling results in Iowa (he does not win).  This debate boycotting thing is tactically wrong.

Trump:  Trump’s support can not be alienated right?  I never have seen him asked about (fake) global warming, which might do the trick for that alienation.  I don’t think he gets off defying conservative orthodoxy and throwing in with warmist tax raisers.

BOLD runs afoul of IMBY

This is a big deal in these parts.  Withrow and Marine are to have their elementary schools closed, if this is approved (which it may not be, given the reaction has been so poor).  And some other shuffling would happen.

http://www.startribune.com/proposed-closings-of-three-schools-in-stillwater-district-prompt-storm-of-protest/366499961/

So this is opposite of NIMBY, it’s IMBY that’s getting all in the face of the school board…. They want schools close by, they being the residents of Withrow and Marine.  Those there are some of the most bucolic places in the metro area to live, so the income demographics are pretty affluent.  Lots of horse and hobby farms.  Thus one might perhaps note some privilege being asserted here and then being pandered to (when the board declines to pass the measure….). But it does seem like a bad idea with fairly broad opposition.

I mean, cmon.  They’re looking to save $1M dollars.  That’s nothing and I’m sure it’s a savings that wouldn’t be realized anyway.

Trumpism as ‘Signaling’

I have been in contemplation of ‘virtue signaling’ a bit, a term that is increasing in use.

http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/10/i-invented-virtue-signalling-now-its-taking-over-the-world/

I’d assert the left is generally guiltier of this than the right, a prime example being the notion we’re altruistically obligated to bring a bunch of culturally incompatible third world refugees over here and put them on welfare.  If you argue we ought to do that in absence of a real rationale…. That’s straight up virtue signaling…. of the lefty variety.

But it’s not like others can’t be guilty of this too, be it ‘virtue signaling’ or some other ‘signaling’.

And ya know…. much as we hear Trump speaks to ‘something’ out there, the dipshits people responding to him are in fact ‘signaling’.

To what?  Oh, there’s a kernel of wisdom / prudence on immigration… I guess.  But the big thing is, Trumpism is so low-brow and devoid that it’s a low hurdle-there to affirm it if you’re so inclined but otherwise not intellectually fit engage in this country’s political discussion.  It’s to say, he’s attracting the obtuse, the low-info, the disengaged, and the nihilistic who by affirming Trumpism are able to ‘signal’ something that they’d otherwise be incapable of signaling and not have a vehicle to signal with.

So he’s ‘leading’ right?  You telling me these people are going to show up for him next Tuesday?  http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/430272/are-cnn-and-cbs-overestimating-turnout-expect-caucus-night

I’m not buying it.  I say Trump never wins a primary / caucus, and its Rubio at the end.

Other

….Not obvious to me that Sarah Palin helps Trump.  I don’t think Palin has a politically active audience anymore

… Palin…. Wow.

… Much as Trump is a POTUS potentiality, let’s acknowledge that the Overton window is open in a similar way for Bernie.  It’s quite a bit better than a remote possibility that he wins the Democrat nomination. And ya know if he does garner the delegate math there…. They got to run him or destroy the party.  So I was thinking, who’s his VP?  It’s probably Keith Ellison.  Think about it….