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Thursday, January 31, 2013

OTP - Feb 2013: Baseball team flunks history with Taft mascot pick

The Washington Nationals might have bitten off more than they can chew by naming William Howard Taft as their next racing mascot. If you aren’t familiar with the controversy, the baseball team features four mascots dressed as U.S. presidents that race around the Nationals’ stadium during home games to entertain fans.

“Teddy has handpicked the next president for the Presidents’ Race,” Nationals COO Andy Feffer told the newspaper on Friday, a day before the Taft mascot was rolled out. “There was a great amount of banter and discussion back and forth, but Teddy won out with his recommendation.”

On Saturday, the sanitized Taft mascot made its debut at a fan event, looking at least 100 pounds lighter than its real-life counterpart.

The reaction in the media, so far, is that even sportswriters who aren’t historians know the two men hated each other.

The Post’s Dan Steinberg asked a local historian how bad the blood was between TR and Taft.

Allan Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University, told Steinberg that each man considered the other a backstabber, and they had no qualms taking down each other in a presidential election.

“The rivalry was as bitter as it gets in politics,” said Lichtman. “There’s nothing like the feeling of betrayal, and both men felt betrayed by the other.”

Tripon Posted: January 31, 2013 at 07:41 PM | 582 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: nationals, ot, politics, washington, washington nationals

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   301. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 25, 2013 at 08:05 PM (#4375974)
You are old.

I am younger than Chelsea Clinton apparently.
   302. Lassus Posted: February 25, 2013 at 08:18 PM (#4375985)
You are old.

That may be true, but I ain't that much older than Chelsea Clinton, which was the real shock.
   303. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:04 AM (#4376125)
A glance at where he actually stood while in the Senate shows Biden to be a corporate candidate with a nice, well-meant patter he can aim at the working class as needed. He's well-liked within the party, and will excite absolutely no one. He'll draw no support from the progressive wing of the Democratic party, which is where Dem dark horses come from, and in failing to get any progressive support all but guarantees at least one strong challenger. (All of this assumes Clinton doesn't run.) I can see him polling third two months in advance of Iowa and dropping out before the caucuses.

As for Clinton, isn't she one more public fainting spell during a campaign event from being eminently beatable in the primaries or the general? It's easy to say 69 isn't old, but for today's permanent campaign it's pretty damned old, and what we know about her health tells us it's an issue.

I'll bet a sizable amount on "Other" (than Biden or HRC).

I also think the GOP can stay exactly this crazy for another couple of decades, losing Presidential elections unless unemployment skyrockets, but dominating at the local and state levels. As long as we allow the sort of gerrymandering we allow, there's not enough incentive for Republicans to move towards sanity, if that's still possible. I don't think it is, but that's another matter.
   304. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 26, 2013 at 07:31 AM (#4376135)
I agree with this, sort of. If HRC runs, HRC wins the nomination (and likely becomes President). Biden is not beating her, and likely no one else is either. However "the field" could beat Biden (If HRC does not run). I think Biden would be a favorite over any individual, but I might take the field against him.

I agree that Hillary would be the frontrunner based on what we know today, but she's starting to look OLD, and she's already had some moderately serious health issues. Four years is a long time; leaving aside an ennervated GOP that appears to have misplaced its business plan, I'm starting to think Hillary and Biden are both at risk for being displaced by a younger, more dynamic dark horse.
I think this from BM and GF is basically right. People should check out Hillary's current polling numbers. She is comically, ridiculously popular. If the primary election were held today, she'd get like 80% of the vote. Currently, there is not a "Biden/Hillary/field" race, there isn't even a race. There's just Hillary.

But, going to GF's point, the Democratic Party has a long and proud history of refusing to nominate the front-runner, for good or for ill. (As opposed to the Republicans, who always nominate the next in line.) A primary campaign is a long-ass time, and Clinton is not even a lock to run for president.

If Hillary runs, I'd put her at something like 1-to-3 odds to win the nomination. Even given the Democratic Party's history, Hillary is currently crazy popular with both the activist base and the rank-and-file primary voter types. She's going to be harder to knock off than any front-runner on the Dem side in my lifetime, and by a wide margin. (Hillary in 2008 had her foolish Iraq War support that opened up a space on her left for Obama, now with the war ending ad out of the news, and years of respected international service on her resume, that's not going to be an option for the underdog this time around.)

If Hillary doesn't run, then you probably get a race of Biden vs. Field, and this is the Democratic Party, so you bet heavily on Field.
   305. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 26, 2013 at 08:13 AM (#4376138)
Between its being Oscar season, the Ayn Rand reference, and the film buffs and Simpsons' fans on this site, it's probably worth posting Roger Eberts' review of one of the five nominees for Best Animated Short:

All five of the animated nominees are a joy to experience, even those that seem to have an unfair advantage. I'm specifically referring to "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,' " a perfectly enjoyable, non-verbal "Simpsons" spinoff that played before theatrical showings of last year's best picture Oscar winner, "The Artist."

Clocking in at 4:52, it offers at least a half-dozen sight gags per minute as perpetual toddler Maggie endures a challenging day at the Ayn Rand School for Tots. She's mistakenly placed with the diapered miscreants in the "Nothing Special" category, where she defends a grateful butterfly from the deviant wrath of Baby Gerald, a bad seed who makes Maggie's brother Bart seem like a model student by comparison.

It's great stuff, directed by "Simpsons" veteran David Silverman with above-average visual flair, with five writers (all "Simpsons" veterans) credited, presumably to share the Oscar love. But here's my beef: With a huge staff and two decades of "Simpsons" infrastructure behind it, isn't this really just a "Simpsons" episode cut down to bite-sized hilarity? Wouldn't the Oscars be better off nominating animators who don't have major studio backing?


I don't watch the Simpsons so I don't know if the short was only derivative, but it was a pleasure to watch.

   306. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4376153)
I also think the GOP can stay exactly this crazy for another couple of decades, losing Presidential elections unless unemployment skyrockets, but dominating at the local and state levels. As long as we allow the sort of gerrymandering we allow, there's not enough incentive for Republicans to move towards sanity, if that's still possible. I don't think it is, but that's another matter.


I disagree for a couple reasons. I am not sure big money or the consultant class would be happy with this scenario, and they are two groups with big power in both parties, especially the GOP. So I think they would try things (even painful things) to get out of that rut.

Also your scenario means control over the judiciary/supreme court for the Dems for a generation. Would the GOP base sign up for perpetual minority/roadblock status while losing their pet rock of cultural issues (between the SC, President, and cultural trends there would be nothing to stop "creeping liberalism and moral decay"). I don't know how the GOP base reacts, but I suspect it might splinter and/or withdraw.

Additionally the demographic trends are going to continue. Even the younger envangelicals have (on average) more liberal views on many things than the elder group. And the wave of minorities is not going to stop and will impact the lower level races no matter how gerrymandered things get.

Finally change is natural. It always happens, and usually in very unexpected ways. If the bet is stay the same for years or change in unexpected ways, always take change. Of course I have no idea how the GOP will change (or the Dems for that matter), but I am pretty sure they will.
   307. steagles Posted: February 26, 2013 at 09:19 AM (#4376159)
I think this from BM and GF is basically right. People should check out Hillary's current polling numbers. She is comically, ridiculously popular. If the primary election were held today, she'd get like 80% of the vote. Currently, there is not a "Biden/Hillary/field" race, there isn't even a race. There's just Hillary.
that's because of people like my dad who believe that barack obama is some kind of deviant radical who's driving the country apart, and that if only hillary would have been elected in 08, we'd have 0% unemployment, a $6 trillion budget surplus and the republican party would somehow be motivated by rational thought again.


hillary could be at 100% approval right now, but the moment that she is nominated as the democratic candidate for president, she becomes Huey P. Ledbetter-Marx in the eyes of the republican base, and her approval rating would be down to 60 at best.
   308. Delorians Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:10 AM (#4376187)
"and her approval rating would be down to 60 at best."

Which would be plenty. In 1984 vs. Mondale, Reagan won 59% of the popular vote.
   309. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4376207)
@306:
...can...
was key, there.

Your post makes abundant sense IF (it's too bad we can't change type sizes) you're talking about a group of people with the capacity for rational behavior, of seeking effect and rearranging cause, but you're not. There's a level of cohesiveness necessary to making the kind of coherent change you describe in order to aim at a sensible goal. That cohesive just isn't there. These are people, the most rational of whom demonstrably cannot add.

I wrote 'can' because I think it's not inevitable the party will continue to devolve into irreconcilable factions that are unable to put up the sort of convincing faux moderate the R's need to run in order to win a national election, but I do think it's likely. The current rift is enormous. It's similar in size to the rift that caused the Dems to win all of one Presidential election between the rise of Nixon's silent majority in 1968*** and Clinton being helped by a weak economy and Ross Perot. That was 24 years where the Dems only squeaked a Presidential victory because Nixon went mad.

The TPers have real political strength at the local and state levels. They aren't going anywhere any time soon, and you may have noticed they don't make deals. They may have to literally age out and even start to die off, the way the Democratic left did by the late 80s, for the Republican party to be able to remake itself again into a party capable of winning Presidential elections.

The more I think about it the more apt the analogy is to the Dems wandering in the wilderness. A quarter century out of Presidential power is not impossible. Only Nixon saved the Democrats from that.

***Nixon first used 'silent majority' in a speech in November, 1969, but he didn't invent the term.
   310. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 10:55 AM (#4376210)
That may be true, but I ain't that much older than Chelsea Clinton, which was the real shock.


As an Arkansan, I remember when she was born. I was a college senior. Talk about feeling old.
   311. Morty Causa Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:01 AM (#4376219)
I don't like it when they sentimentalize Maggie. I like Maggie going after Homer with the nail gun. Maggie needs Homer to play off of to be effective. One of the episodes for the ages is where she says her first word. But, yeah, that short film, creatively, was better than most short films. It wasn't very Simpsony, though. The original Ayn Rand Daycare for Tots episodes with its parody allusions to The Great Escape and The Birds was way better, even if the production values have advanced since then.
   312. Morty Causa Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4376225)
hillary could be at 100% approval right now, but the moment that she is nominated as the democratic candidate for president, she becomes Huey P. Ledbetter-Marx in the eyes of the republican base, and her approval rating would be down to 60 at best.


Not to mention that all that Clintonian baggage will once again come to the fore. I believe someone has paid Lewinsky $12 million for her "memoirs"--when do you think that will be coming out? There are some things the Republicans will not give up on, no matter how often they get the short end of the custard pie.
   313. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4376230)
Predictions are hard...especially about the future, but much as I am perplexed to see how the Republican Party will moderate, I still would bet on it happening. Losing the presidency is a big deal to some important groups in any party--activists who focus on the Supreme Court, the professional politico consultant class, the cohort of wannabe Cabinet officers who write op/eds for think tanks, to name just three. Now you have in those groups two with power but no people and one with people but no power. Once activists decide losing the Supreme Court is intolerable, smart people can make deals awfully quickly. An activist base that is dedicated to losing over a long, long term is unusual.

Parties don't tend to nominate under-competitive candidates for more than 2 cycles. The Democrats responded to McGovern by going to the center hard with anti-labor Carter in four years. The Republicans responded to Clinton by making GW Bush. Historically you'd bet on the Republicans nominating someone tending moderate in 2016 because it is rare to go symbolic after two consecutive defeats. If they lose in 2016, the pressure to nominate someone who can win in 2020 will be overwhelming.

The caveat and the reason the doubters could be right is that there are a few times when that didn't happen, especially the Democrats in their long national eclipse after the Civil War. A party with a totally solid regional base can sometimes sink into permanent second place status, but even then the comparison is tricky. The Democrats nudged to the center in 1864 (with the candidate not the platform), kind of punted in 68, nominated a Republican in 72, and then won the popular vote in 76. 80 they nominated a war hero and lost the popular vote by 10,000 votes (bigger in EC.) 84, 88, 92 they win the popular vote each time (though lose the EC in 88). The economy breaks up under them and they make a new Bryan coalition that is too weak to win the White House and so get beaten in 96, 1900, 1904, 1908. Luck into things in three-way 1912, carry over into 1916, then lose the first two of the 20s.

Then the Republican eclipse is really just FDR. They blow winnable, close elections in 48 and 60 and win in 52 and 56.

So there's precedent for a party losing a bunch of elections in a row but 1) generally the losing party has tried running to the center and 2) lost some very close elections. There isn't precedent for a party getting its ass kicked a bunch of elections in a row without doing something about it.
   314. Mefisto Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4376240)
then won the popular vote in 76. 80 they nominated a war hero and lost the popular vote by 10,000 votes (bigger in EC.) 84, 88, 92 they win the popular vote each time (though lose the EC in 88).


Those popular vote victories/close calls depended on voter suppression of an extent which wouldn't be tolerated today. I'm not sure how that plays out, but I suspect that the series of close races kept the Dems from changing their policies. If today's Rs, who occupy the same role, can't suppress the vote or cheat the system (gerrymander, change the EC votes, etc.), they'll be forced to compromise in ways the old Dems weren't. I think that'll be true even though the Bourbon South would otherwise be willing to stay in the wilderness forever.
   315. The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4376247)
Greg, the thing about what you're saying is that the Republicans did nominate moderates each of the last two cycles. It was a "maverick" who made his name going against the party, and a formerly pro-choice/gay rights technocrat who pioneered statewide health care. I mean, you can argue that basically no one in the party is moderate, but the Republicans can, and have, Overton windowed that #### and changed what "moderate" means. These were moderates by the standards of the current voting public, and they were "electable" -- that isn't why they lost. So, the Republicans can't become more moderate by changing their Presidential nominees... that isn't the issue here.

I believe someone has paid Lewinsky $12 million for her "memoirs"--when do you think that will be coming out?
Oh, jeez... I think the opposition trying to make hay out of Lewinsky would help Bill Clinton if he could run again, never mind the wronged woman in the situation.

It's of course accurate that Hillary will lose non-committed-Democrat support once she becomes a Democratic candidate. And I'm sure the opposition will try to revisit 20th century dirt, just like they keep trying to push certain narratives about Obama that have never gotten any traction. But overall, I certainly think Hillary's affiliation with Bill and his presidency is far more a plus than a minus.
   316. Ron J2 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4376249)
#313 As I've said before, the current Republican scene is lacking a Buckley. Somebody who is an unimpeachable conservative, widely respected in the party and willing to take on the crazy. Buckley largely drove the Birchers from the Republican scene.

David Frum sort of volunteered for the job, but was easily shouted down.
   317. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4376250)
The TPers have real political strength at the local and state levels. They aren't going anywhere any time soon, and you may have noticed they don't make deals. They may have to literally age out and even start to die off, the way the Democratic left did by the late 80s, for the Republican party to be able to remake itself again into a party capable of winning Presidential elections.

Unless, of course, the current GOP strategy of paralyzing the economy via austerity measures pays off, and the voters somehow can't figure out how to put 2 and 2 together and hold them accountable for it. But so far it's only the hard core GOP voters who are blaming Obama for the sequestration deadlock, and we'll see what happens when the red state voters start to get laid off as a result.
   318. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4376254)
Greg, the thing about what you're saying is that the Republicans did nominate moderates each of the last two cycles. It was a "maverick" who made his name going against the party,

Right, up until the point where the hard core social conservatives in the primaries more or less said it was their way or the highway, and both McCain and Romney capitulated. Take the Tea Party mentality out of the primaries and sure, McCain and Romney might well have stopped catering to the loons. The McCain of 2008 was a far cry from the "maverick" of 2000, and Mr. 47% spent most of his campaign running away from that other guy who was once allegedly the Governor of Massachusetts. Calling those two "moderates" during their general election campaigns is kind of like calling the 2012 A-Rod a Triple Crown threat.
   319. zonk Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4376258)
Unfortunately, I feel pretty sure it's an exceedingly clever Jerry Lawler/Andy Kaufman gag -- but on the off chance it isn't, I have to say that I'm finding this 'feud' between Glenn Beck and the WWE to be entertaining.

I will be somewhat crushed if/when it turns out that Beck was in on things from the start - I hate it when people I take to be total wastes of flesh actually demonstrate a hint of the sly and wry.... Still - maybe I can look forward to Triple H (or whomever) kicking Beck's ass on Letterman at some point in the future.
   320. bunyon Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM (#4376259)
David Frum sort of volunteered for the job, but was easily shouted down.

Frum ran quite a few folks off, first. Then when he tried to get the remaining folks to act like adults was himself booted from the room. Bad for the country but fun to watch.
   321. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4376268)
Those popular vote victories/close calls depended on voter suppression of an extent which wouldn't be tolerated today. I'm not sure how that plays out, but I suspect that the series of close races kept the Dems from changing their policies. If today's Rs, who occupy the same role, can't suppress the vote or cheat the system (gerrymander, change the EC votes, etc.), they'll be forced to compromise in ways the old Dems weren't. I think that'll be true even though the Bourbon South would otherwise be willing to stay in the wilderness forever.
Absolutely on both counts. They would not have been quite as close if the disfranchisement didn't work (though the gap may also not be quite as big as we think, since intimidation worked to reduce black voting enough to save Democratic statewide and national candidates not eliminate black altogether, so Republicans won 48% in NC, 39% in Arkansas, 44% in TN, not so far off what you'd expect, the big gap was the very deep South, Georgia, MS, SC, ALA.)

Even with that Southern tinge, the party nominated exclusively northerners (and mostly New Yorkers with some Indianans) and, when they could find them, Union war heroes, so it wasn't like they were nominating Vardaman or even Wade Hampton. It's a party with an extreme base trying to win without shattering its base.

Greg, the thing about what you're saying is that the Republicans did nominate moderates each of the last two cycles. It was a "maverick" who made his name going against the party, and a formerly pro-choice/gay rights technocrat who pioneered statewide health care. I mean, you can argue that basically no one in the party is moderate, but the Republicans can, and have, Overton windowed that #### and changed what "moderate" means. These were moderates by the standards of the current voting public, and they were "electable" -- that isn't why they lost. So, the Republicans can't become more moderate by changing their Presidential nominees... that isn't the issue here.
That is also a good point. There's a separate question about the genuflection they required from Romney. If he hadn't had to act so riled up, he might have played the moderate more consistently, as he tried in the first debate. The party protected GWB from that in 2000, and could theoretically protect and support a candidate who wouldn't swing for the fences in the primaries. I agree that it isn't a magic bullet to have the perfect candidate. I also do think an organized party can help preserve a candidate in the way the party simply did not in 2012. GHWB looked better for having beaten back Robertson and Buchanan, not worse. It's hard to see how that happens now, I agree, but I wouldn't be shocked if it did happen.

Step one: skip Iowa. Write it off and make it seem like a sideshow for the losers.
Step two: whip the SC organization into line. That's the one state with a big gap between the organization and the base. The organization saved Bush in 2000 and McCain in 2008 but could not save Romney in 2012.

Major flaw in theory: if Arizona really moves itself way up, that will presumably be a major, major boost to a Tea Party-style candidate, and force an establishment candidate to keep fighting much longer.
   322. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 26, 2013 at 11:59 AM (#4376272)
Unless, of course, the current GOP strategy of paralyzing the economy via austerity measures pays off


I think Andy is on to something here. The wildcard is if things crater (economy or other "important things") then authoritarian populisim* can become real popular real fast and I can easily see the GOP sliding over into that territory and succeeding nationally (whether they deserve to or not is a different matter, because deserve has got nothing to do with it).

* I am using this term because it is somewhat descriptive of a wide variety of governmental movements from all over the spectrum from fascisim, to communism to FDR new dealism could all from some standpoints fit under this umbrella. Perhaps Charismatic Populism or Cult of Personality could also fit the populist waves that often come after/during dire economic times. And no I am not suggesting the GOP are communists or fascists.
   323. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4376273)
Unfortunately, I feel pretty sure it's an exceedingly clever Jerry Lawler/Andy Kaufman gag -- but on the off chance it isn't, I have to say that I'm finding this 'feud' between Glenn Beck and the WWE to be entertaining.

I will be somewhat crushed if/when it turns out that Beck was in on things from the start - I hate it when people I take to be total wastes of flesh actually demonstrate a hint of the sly and wry.... Still - maybe I can look forward to Triple H (or whomever) kicking Beck's ass on Letterman at some point in the future.
how incredible is that?

If the Tea Party fades--big if!--I think the WWE making it into a figure of derision by having a heel character come out with his Tea Party sponsor to boos from the crowd while the announcers call them "scary men" will be some kind of weird indicator. A long way from the Iron Sheik! link
   324. zonk Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4376284)
If the Tea Party fades--big if!--I think the WWE making it into a figure of derision by having a heel character come out with his Tea Party sponsor to boos from the crowd while the announcers call them "scary men" will be some kind of weird indicator. A long way from the Iron Sheik! link


Or Adorable Adrian Adonis for that matter...

Still, the WWE marketing folks aren't stupid -- perhaps even better than the politicos, I have to think they have a pretty good sense of where the heels and faces should be positioned relative to the audience.
   325. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4376286)
Still, the WWE marketing folks aren't stupid -- perhaps even better than the politicos, I have to think they have a pretty good sense of where the heels and faces should be positioned relative to the audience.
Totally. They take chances and kill things that fail, so we'll see how well based this is. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if they had a clearer sense of the Tea Party's current status among their fans than anyone else.
   326. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4376291)

Step one: skip Iowa. Write it off and make it seem like a sideshow for the losers.


The Giuliani strategy?
   327. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4376297)
Still, the WWE marketing folks aren't stupid -- perhaps even better than the politicos, I have to think they have a pretty good sense of where the heels and faces should be positioned relative to the audience.


Maybe Linda McMahon should have hired them as political consultants.

I don't watch 'rasslin anymore but anything that gives Dirty Dutch Mantell a steady paycheck in 2013 is OK in my book.
   328. CrosbyBird Posted: February 26, 2013 at 12:56 PM (#4376323)
   329. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:22 PM (#4376338)
The Giuliani strategy?
Ha! Touche

But it has worked in the past and could work again. But you do have to be able to win New Hampshire if you skip Iowa.
   330. zonk Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4376341)
Step one: skip Iowa. Write it off and make it seem like a sideshow for the losers.



The Giuliani strategy?


Technically, the Guiliani strategy wasn't just skipping Iowa... It was skip Iowa, blow off New Hampshire, abide by the national party ban on Michigan, ignore South Carolina, pretend Nevada doesn't exist, and focus on Florida.
   331. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4376352)
Technically, the Guiliani strategy wasn't just skipping Iowa... It was skip Iowa, blow off New Hampshire, abide by the national party ban on Michigan, ignore South Carolina, pretend Nevada doesn't exist, and focus on Florida.


To be fair I betb if he had had a chance in any of those states he would have tried. The idiots were those who thought he had a chance at all (which might include Rudy actually). But yeah if you skip Iowa you better do really well in NH.

And wow do I hate the duopoly those two states have. Really annoying.
   332. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 01:59 PM (#4376359)
Knowing Giuliani's mindset would be fascinating, no?

From the outside, his campaign looks like a perfect way to funnel $60 million to your favorite consulting companies. So it's tempting to think that he simply raised his profile and funneled money from donors to consultants knowing he couldn't win.

But...he ended up having to pay 200k in campaign debt from personal funds, saw his speaking fees drop when he cratered, and came out of it worse.

So it does seem more likely that he was duped by some combination of his ego and the consultant leeches who fastened on to him. If so, the agony for him must have been extreme when the scales dropped.
   333. Steve Treder Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:12 PM (#4376369)
So it does seem more likely that he was duped by some combination of his ego and the consultant leeches who fastened on to him. If so, the agony for him must have been extreme when the scales dropped.

Agreed. Every politician is an egotist, of course, but Giuliani took it to a whole 'nother level.
   334. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:36 PM (#4376399)
You are old.
Indeed. If one is thinking of Chelsea as a little girl, keep in mind that it was 24 years before 2016 that she first entered the White House.
   335. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4376403)
It's great stuff, directed by "Simpsons" veteran David Silverman with above-average visual flair, with five writers (all "Simpsons" veterans) credited, presumably to share the Oscar love. But here's my beef: With a huge staff and two decades of "Simpsons" infrastructure behind it, isn't this really just a "Simpsons" episode cut down to bite-sized hilarity? Wouldn't the Oscars be better off nominating animators who don't have major studio backing?
I thought the award was for "Best Animated Short," not "Best Animated Short By a Poor Person."
   336. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: February 26, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4376412)
You read it here first - but the 2016 Dem darkhorse will be Brian Schweitzer and I think he's got the chops not to fall apart.

I've mentioned it here before, but a politico friend of mine told me the same thing in 2010 or so.
   337. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:05 PM (#4376419)
David Frum sort of volunteered for the job, but was easily shouted down.
David Frum was part of the administration/wing of the party that ran the Republican brand into the ground, and then tried to point the fingers at the people who opposed that wing. Not surprisingly, he was laughed out of the room.
   338. bunyon Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:09 PM (#4376421)
Indeed. If one is thinking of Chelsea as a little girl, keep in mind that it was 24 years before 2016 that she first entered the White House.

I'm just going to be laying here in the corner with a bottle of wine for the rest of the day.
   339. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4376425)
I'm just going to be laying here in the corner with a bottle of wine for the rest of the day.

The whole day, and just one bottle? God your old. 20 years ago, that wouldn't have lasted more than 2 hours.
   340. The District Attorney Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:21 PM (#4376428)
I certainly don't think Giuliani's 2008 cause was hopeless. It was a wide open field, and I'd think he had the most name recognition of anyone in it, which is a good start. I dunno how popular he was going in -- certainly a lot of the post-9/11 popularity had worn off -- but I bet at least more so before he started than it was after he finished ;-)

And I do think it's possible to win the nomination without winning IA or NH. If anything, I bet that's more true now than ever, as media saturation seems to have exaggerated momentum swings (didn't like a dozen different people lead the Republican popularity polls at one point or another during the process?) But, as mentioned, somewhat weird circumstances (Michigan shenanigans, and Romney having unusual strength in Massachusetts-neighboring NH and Mormon-heavy NV) left no place for Rudy to make inroads. It's probably more important that he turned out to be a bad national candidate. On a superficial level, he didn't seem all that polished or prepared. And on a policy level, what was he offering, other than social stances that the primary voters didn't like? An even more aggressive foreign policy than the other guys already had? I don't think there proved to be much reason to point to him in a very large field and say "that's my guy."

Anyways, you can change procedures such as how you do the primaries -- it's certainly not like they make logical sense the way they currently are -- but 1) as I said, the Republicans have been nominating "electable moderates" anyway, and 2) procedural changes aren't going to quell the underlying issues. It's certainly true that the party dragging the electable moderate to the right does undo a lot of the point of nominating an electable moderate. The whole thing is like trying to get a fire truck somewhere where the guy driving the front and the guy driving the back want to go in totally different directions. I have no idea how it turns out. As mentioned, it's probably easier for them at this point to profit off discontent with Democrats than it would be to get their own house in order.
   341. Ron J2 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:39 PM (#4376442)
#337 I think that's a valid line of attack on Frum, (though it's worth noting that he left the administration fairly early on) but I don't recall it being used on him, The basis of most of the counter-attacks that I can recall basically centered on his lack of standing in the party.

His being Canadian didn't help.

   342. GregD Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:42 PM (#4376444)
I think Republicans have plenty of candidates for smart and somewhat open-minded conservative thinkers; Frum is just one among quite a few. What they haven't yet shown is that they have an audience for those thinkers. Without that, then Reihan Salam or Ross Douthat or whomever you choose is just talking to the wind. You can't be Bill Buckley by writing like Bill Buckley; you have to have the sense that your stances matter. And it's not clear that any of those people matter.
   343. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:48 PM (#4376447)
Knowing Giuliani's mindset would be fascinating, no?


I doubt it. Every other word is 9/11.

The whole day, and just one bottle? God your old. 20 years ago, that wouldn't have lasted more than 2 hours.


He's probably planning to use a glass, too.
   344. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 26, 2013 at 03:49 PM (#4376448)
Was it Frum's kid who had a hilariously awful baseball article on FrumForum that we ripped apart?
   345. Ron J2 Posted: February 26, 2013 at 05:02 PM (#4376520)
#344 Yep.
   346. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:33 AM (#4376790)
Not to mention that all that Clintonian baggage will once again come to the fore. I believe someone has paid Lewinsky $12 million for her "memoirs"--when do you think that will be coming out? There are some things the Republicans will not give up on, no matter how often they get the short end of the custard pie.


Two problems with this. First is, the Clintonian baggage won't matter. That HRC put up with Bill's philandering and kept her marriage together will reflect well on her, not poorly. It's also sufficiently exhausted that the MSM won't be pressing her on any of it. The story will be, 'those wingnuts won't leave her alone'. The second is 'Well, what of it'? If the Dems ran a George Washington clone the Republicans would attempt to paint him as the second coming of Satan. You assume it'll be all smears, all the time, so what matters isn't what they say (since they'll be saying it regardless), but what they can prove.
   347. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:28 AM (#4376834)
Speaking of the last OTP thread, the Chinese have become real players in the supercomputer game, with their Tianhe-2 aiming to reach 100 petaflops by 2015. Iirc industry folks estimate we'll reach 1 exaflop (10 to the 18th, or one quintillion FLOPS by 2018. Predictions aren't facts, but that belief makes me wonder if Moore's law (transistor count doubles every 2 years, though transistor count doesn't always directly correlate with speed) is becoming obsolete.

It sounds like we have a lot of people in the computer biz posting on this site. Are any of you primarily hardware guys?

edit: maybe not, wrt Moore, and speaking of the cell discussion, and the computation necessary to simulate one:

"IDF: Intel says Moore's Law holds until 2029

Pat Gelsinger, head of the Digital Enterprise Division at Intel, says that Moore's Law will continue to apply for the next few years. In his keynote address at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, he said that the performance of supercomputers would be measured in zettaflops (10 to the 21st power floating-point operations) per second by around 2029. With that power, he said it would be possible to make weather forecasts that would be sufficiently accurate for 14 days. He expects by 2017 it will be possible to create a complete genetic simulation of a cell, which would require an exaflop (10 to the 18th power floating-point operations) per second."

http://www.h-online.com/newsticker/news/item/IDF-Intel-says-Moore-s-Law-holds-until-2029-734779.html

I don't have any serious reservations about seeing where all this takes us. We're not much of a species, so any possibility of radical improvement seems worth pursuing, and any course likely to lessen the influence of religion is valuable on that basis alone.
   348. SteveF Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:44 AM (#4376842)
With that power, he said it would be possible to make weather forecasts that would be sufficiently accurate for 14 days


I always thought the limits to forecasting were caused by the difficulties in gathering sufficiently precise/accurate data and the chaotic nature (small variances in inputs create large variances in outputs) of fluid dynamics.
   349. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:33 AM (#4376846)
@348: someone else will know more, but computationally based weather forecasting began with large, interacting grids that increasing computing power allowed us to break down into smaller and smaller pieces. You need extreme granularity to account for all the possible interactions of ever smaller pieces and thereby extend your predictions in time. I'm assuming that's one of the things that the increased computing power lets you do (in real time, obviously).

The sufficiently precise data you mention is available once we have enough computational power and speed to process that data, which also lets us better calculate the behavior of apparently chaotic systems.

   350. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 27, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4376850)
I certainly don't think Giuliani's 2008 cause was hopeless. It was a wide open field, and I'd think he had the most name recognition of anyone in it, which is a good start. I dunno how popular he was going in -- certainly a lot of the post-9/11 popularity had worn off -- but I bet at least more so before he started than it was after he finished ;-)
No, Giuliani's 2008 cause was indeed hopeless. He's pro-choice. He's quite moderate on a number of issues that were always going to be deal-breakers with the Republican primary electorate. Giuliani's vote totals reflect well the popularity of his concatenation of views on the right (socially moderate, fiscally squishy, internationally bugnuts crazy war-mongering). Noun-verb-9/11 is not a platform with meaningful support on the right.
   351. bunyon Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:00 AM (#4376851)
We're not much of a species,

You have an example of a better one? I mean, I get pretty cynical at time myself, but your post lists some amazing engineerig achievements that are created by the species you then disparage.
   352. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:14 AM (#4376855)
And Mussolini made the trains run on time. We lack empathy. We're not very bright, for the most part. We killed something like 150 million of each other during the last century. Skim the smartest one percent and the rest would be living in shacks, with a life expectancy of around forty years.

You really want to stand up for the general lot of humanity? Feel free. Have at it.
   353. Lassus Posted: February 27, 2013 at 08:27 AM (#4376859)
And Mussolini made the trains run on time. We lack empathy. We're not very bright, for the most part. We killed something like 150 million of each other during the last century. Skim the smartest one percent and the rest would be living in shacks, with a life expectancy of around forty years. Child support laws.


(Sorry, couldn't help it. Whee! Go Mets!)
   354. BDC Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4376872)
From Sunday's Ft Worth Startlegram; am I reading this correctly?

If you go into the Texas Capitol legally packing heat, you may be interested in a new bill by state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford.

People who hold concealed handgun licenses are permitted to carry their weapons in the Capitol. But under a strict interpretation of the state penal code, Stickland says, they could be arrested if they come in contact with any of the hundreds of high school field trips that swarm into the building during legislative sessions.

The law bars anyone with a firearm from being on "any grounds or building on which an activity sponsored by a school or educational institution is being conducted."

HB1298 corrects the "poor wording" in the criminal code, Stickland says. If it is passed, handgun license holders wouldn't be violating the law if they come in contact with school field trips in areas where they are normally allowed to carry handguns.


It's a bad joke: instead of "fixing" the law to prevent you from carrying a gun into the freaking Capitol Building, this nitwit wants to change it to allow you to carry near groups of schoolchildren.

   355. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4376873)
You really want to stand up for the general lot of humanity? Feel free. Have at it.


By and large I think humanity is OK. Not perfect, but pretty good. I am terribly sad we do not meet with your approval Jack, and I for one will lose sleep trying to come up with a way to justify our collective existence. Feel free to hold your breath.
   356. bunyon Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM (#4376902)
You really want to stand up for the general lot of humanity? Feel free. Have at it.



By and large I think humanity is OK. Not perfect, but pretty good. I am terribly sad we do not meet with your approval Jack, and I for one will lose sleep trying to come up with a way to justify our collective existence. Feel free to hold your breath.


I more or less agree with the tart tasting mouse. With the exception of holding your breath. I think self-criticism and the desire to improve, which Jack implicitly suggests, is precisely what makes us a worthy species. Of course we do stupid, destructive things. Show me an animal that doesn't. We recognize it, mourn it and hope to do better. And, if you look broadly at history, we do get better. The general trend of human improvement isn't sufficiently fast for any one person to get much out of it in their lifetime but it's there.

Have a bottle of wine and curl up with someone you love, Jack. You'll like humanity more for it.
   357. zonk Posted: February 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM (#4376928)
Speaking of the last OTP thread, the Chinese have become real players in the supercomputer game, with their Tianhe-2 aiming to reach 100 petaflops by 2015. Iirc industry folks estimate we'll reach 1 exaflop (10 to the 18th, or one quintillion FLOPS by 2018. Predictions aren't facts, but that belief makes me wonder if Moore's law (transistor count doubles every 2 years, though transistor count doesn't always directly correlate with speed) is becoming obsolete.

It sounds like we have a lot of people in the computer biz posting on this site. Are any of you primarily hardware guys?


I'm not a hardware guy - but my understanding in regards to the supercomputer/'really, really big number of computations' race is that it's really come down to power rather than architecture... that each most recent leap ahead by the various competitors have been more a matter of constructing and allocating the necessary power to push forward. My understanding is that Tianhe-2 is basically getting/constructing its own hydroelectric plant for this purpose. Not to say there's no architectural role, but a more hardware-oriented colleague recently told me that the TOP500 race has really become a race to see who can get their government to build them their very own nuclear power plant first.
   358. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4376946)
As a dyed-in-the wool humanist, I would also like to come out and say wholeheartedly that people are wonderful. Humans settled the globe with nothing more than a Paleolithic level of technology and eventually went into space. Humans navigate a complex social and environmental landscape and do so with remarkable success. Ever restless, ever curious, we are capable of unbelievable acts of generosity as well as unbelievable acts of brutality. Give me the messy, complex, sweaty, angry, joyful, singing, hardworking, tinkering, bargaining, exploring mass of humanity any day.

Skim the smartest one percent and the rest would be living in shacks, with a life expectancy of around forty years.


Could not disagree more. Even though I may be a member of that 1%, I will shout to the mountains that the smartest people are not the wisest, nor the kindest, nor the most self-sacrificing. They are not the bravest, or the most creative, or the most empathetic. They are not the happiest, the best parents, or the most generous. Those qualities can be found among all people rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. There's a lot more to being a good person, or a productive member of society, than being smart.
   359. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4376948)
Also not a hardware guy, but my understanding is that the current challenge with Moore's law is keeping the electrons where they belong. As things get smaller and smaller it sounds like the pathways (not a technical term) still work fine, but the walls that keep electrons where they belong get thinner/lower to the point it is getting harder to keep them where they belong and stop them from tunneling through.

Note: The above really imprecise description is from some articles I read months ago with the details lost to time and bad memory. Honestly none of it may be right, as I said I am not a hardware guy though I did just install a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device on my home network, but that was so simple truly anyone could have done it.

Between continued improvements in comutational power and 3d printing the future is a different place indeed.
   360. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:36 AM (#4376950)
Could not disagree more.


In my experience even the smartest do really dumb things. Even the dumbest (functional) people can apply themselves and do some really smart things when motivated. So yeah I am a humanist as well (which is why Jack's post annoyed me more than it should have and I went too far - sorry Jack).
   361. Ron J2 Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4376952)
#357 I'm not involved in supercomputing and I'm not really a hardware guy but what you say about power rings true. Once you get beyond a certain level, power issues seem to be a real nightmare.
   362. The John Wetland Memorial Death (CoB) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4376958)
though I did just install a NAS


What did you get? I'm looking at getting a 4 disk NAS in the next couple of months ...
   363. BDC Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4376964)
Once you get beyond a certain level, power issues seem to be a real nightmare

I imagine cooling is also problematic. Facebook made headlines by acquiring considerable real estate in the north of Sweden so that they could air-cool whatever monstrous machines they now need to store consumer data on the entire Universe. And just this week there's a headline about an innovative aquifer-cooled supercomputer in Australia. I have no idea how these machines in China are cooled, but the infrastructure to cool them down must be almost as elaborate as that to heat them up.
   364. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4376967)
By and large I think humanity is OK. Not perfect, but pretty good. I am terribly sad we do not meet with your approval Jack, and I for one will lose sleep trying to come up with a way to justify our collective existence. Feel free to hold your breath


Amen and amen. This whole humanity sucks screed is old and tired, as is the whole random anti-religion bit injected for no evident reason into the comment. Yawn.
   365. Ron J2 Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4376973)
#362 Part of my job is running a SAN (which is why -- as I mentioned in another thread I had to sit through a presentation on Exadata from Oracle). Pretty much overkill for personal needs though.

I've dealt with plenty of network storage and about all I can say is that shop based on your needs.
   366. zenbitz Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:15 PM (#4376974)
He expects by 2017 it will be possible to create a complete genetic simulation of a cell, which would require an exaflop (10 to the 18th power floating-point operations) per second.


As resident computational biologist let me just say that I am not sure what level of "genetic" simulation this hardware dude is talking about, but he's likely wrong by orders of magnitude in _either_ direction.
   367. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:17 PM (#4376976)
I will shout to the mountains that the smartest people are not the wisest, nor the kindest, nor the most self-sacrificing. They are not the bravest, or the most creative, or the most empathetic. They are not the happiest, the best parents, or the most generous. Those qualities can be found among all people rich and poor, educated and uneducated, young and old. There's a lot more to being a good person, or a productive member of society, than being smart.


None of that has anything to do with what Jack said. What he said was that without the smartest 1%, very little technological advance would have been made in human history . That's basically undeniably true.

And by the way, creativity and empathy (which cover all the other adjectives you used) are part of any reasonable definition of "smart." I'm sure they're part of Jack's definition. What you're really talking about it just sheer neuron-firing speed or something, which has nothing to do with anything.
   368. Ron J2 Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4376983)
#359 A friend of mine -- a mainframe sysadmin -- has claimed that in certain areas they're actually running into limitations based on the speed of light. Don't know enough about the specifics, but Bob normally knows what he's talking about.
   369. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4376987)
What did you get? I'm looking at getting a 4 disk NAS in the next couple of months ...


The NAS device I bought and installed was crazy easy to set up. I am still playing (just installed it Monday evening and I do have a life), but yeah I over bought for home network use, but so what? A fun toy I got to reward myself (for doing something I hate, but needed to do).

And by the way, creativity and empathy (which cover all the other adjectives you used) are part of any reasonable definition of "smart." I'm sure they're part of Jack's definition.


Given the previous discussion on site regarding intelligence I take no definition of it on faith. And if you define the top 1% by what they accomplished then yeah we would miss a bunch of stuff by excluding them, but it is really hard to define the top 1% a priori, and I bet plenty of accomplishments would happen even excluding that group. I think the individuals that make the discovery deserve full credit, but many advancements are built on what has gone before and are to a degree inevitable (Heck control of fire predates humanity).

The Wright Brothers deserve credit, but I am pretty sure we would have airplanes even if they had not existed. I have heard it suggested there are things (like Einstein's theories) that were so inspired that things without him would have been very different, but I suspect that is rare.

EDIT: Link was broken. I tried to fix(and failed I guess, sigh). I bought a DS213 from Synology.
EDIT #3: Gah, fixed more. I give up. Stupid Rodent.
   370. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4376990)
Skim the smartest one percent and the rest would be living in shacks, with a life expectancy of around forty years.


That's all very nice, but would the shacks have mothers living in them? And would they have basements?

   371. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4376994)

None of that has anything to do with what Jack said. What he said was that without the smartest 1%, very little technological advance would have been made in human history . That's basically undeniably true.


I think he went far beyond that, but on the face of it that is clearly false, in so many respects.

Just off the cuff, in A.D. 1500, of the smartest 1% of the population, 1 million lived in China, 900,000 lived in India, 150,000 lived in France and around 80,000 lived in England. So naturally most of the technological development over the following 100 years occurred in China and India, right?


And by the way, creativity and empathy (which cover all the other adjectives you used) are part of any reasonable definition of "smart."


I don't think that's how Jack was using it. I know remarkably empathetic and creative people who have a sixth-grade education, who suffer from learning disabilities, and who live on minimum wage. I doubt Jack would argue that those people are the only thing standing between him and shack living.

   372. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4376997)
And if you define the top 1% by what they accomplished then yeah we would miss a bunch of stuff by excluding them,


How else could we define it? I mean, yes, I understand that that makes the entire discussion virtually meaningless.

One of the things that bothers me most is not only the suffering of people in underdeveloped countries, but the opportunity cost. There must be geniuses all over the world who never get a chance to do anything ingenious. But there's unfortunately no way to measure that. All we can possibly measure is what people actually do.

I agree that a lot of innovations would be made by somebody five or ten years later, at the least, if they weren't made by the person who actually made them. But the person who made them instead would still be a person whose other accomplishments, though not as spectacular, still had him or her in a position to do it. It wouldn't be some random person.
   373. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM (#4377003)
And Mussolini made the trains run on time. We lack empathy. We're not very bright, for the most part. We killed something like 150 million of each other during the last century. Skim the smartest one percent and the rest would be living in shacks, with a life expectancy of around forty years.

And yet a sizable proportion of those 150 million deaths can reasonably be laid at the hands of those who under the most commonly accepted definition of "smartest" would have themselves been among that upper 1%---and the rest of that 1% wasn't apparently smart enough to stop them.

-------------------------------------------------

And by the way, creativity and empathy (which cover all the other adjectives you used) are part of any reasonable definition of "smart." I'm sure they're part of Jack's definition. What you're really talking about it just sheer neuron-firing speed or something, which has nothing to do with anything.

I completely agree with your definition of smart, but when the numbers crunchers get through with you, I'm sure you'll be accused of some evil variant of affirmative action by not sticking to measuring that neuron-firing speed. But once again, as is usually the case with so many of these discussions, it all comes down to who controls the dictionary.
   374. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 27, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4377006)
One of the things that bothers me most is not only the suffering of people in underdeveloped countries, but the opportunity cost. There must be geniuses all over the world who never get a chance to do anything ingenious. But there's unfortunately no way to measure that. All we can possibly measure is what people actually do.

There's no way to measure that, but there are things that we can do to remove artificial barriers that prevent potential genius from flourishing. The only problem is that many of these things (GI bills, civil rights laws, etc.) involve raising taxes and / or involving " the government", and are always resisted by the usual suspects for the usual reasons.
   375. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4377014)
One of the things that bothers me most is not only the suffering of people in underdeveloped countries, but the opportunity cost.


And this is why globalism and exporting of jobs to other countries is not quite the tragedy that some portray it. Life in South Korea is so much better than it was (to pull out one semi-random example) and we in the US get to benefit from what they do. A job lost to South Korea is neither pure good nor pure bad, but in net the whole world is better off by them moving forward.
   376. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:04 PM (#4377015)
Co-sign #358 in its entirety.

Baseball, cocktails, painting, refridgeration, soccer, #######, the internet, hip-hop, humanity did all of this, and none of its occurred just because fascist supermen willed it - every one of us is dependent on families and communities and friends, not to mention human societies and physical ecosystems, to make these things possible.

Humans do all kinds of bad ####. There are lots of arguments that humans do as more or more bad #### than good. I am open to that, though ultimately I just like people and it's going to be hard to convince me otherwise.

I think what I object to most in Jack's post is the implicit "but I'm great" aspect of it. If you're going to go full anti-humanist, don't except the ubermenschen and implicitly number yourself among them. Damn the whole lot of us.
   377. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:10 PM (#4377022)
For example, I think Mark Hogancamp may well be among the most creative 1% of people on the planet.
   378. GregD Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:17 PM (#4377027)
For example, I think Mark Hogancamp may well be among the most creative 1% of people on the planet.
I love that movie.
   379. Steve Treder Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:39 PM (#4377037)
Michael Tomasky's take on the GOP and the sequester shenanigans:

... Ron Fournier of National Journal ... wrote a column last week predicated on the continuing fantasy that Obama could solve all of this if he would just show the proper leadership and so this was somehow all his fault because he couldn’t bring [the GOP in Congress] to the table. He followed it up with an arguably stupider one in which he acknowledged that he had no policy preference at all: “I just want it fixed. I want my leaders to lead.” Where they lead apparently doesn’t matter. Finally he pulled off an impressive-in-its-way trifecta with a Monday column that did take a whack at Republicans but that again implored the president to lead a “stubborn” Congress.

This is just fantasy land. The Republicans in Congress aren’t “stubborn.” They are completely implacable. Obama can’t lead them anywhere. They will not play. Maybe, maybe, maybe they will if their backs are against the wall, as they were in early January. But even then Obama—reelected handily on the idea of raising taxes on dollars earned above $250,000—had to settle for $450,000. And now they say that’s the end of revenues. No more.

This is not a negotiating posture. It is carved into stone with them, an edict. Their agitprop media has spread the diktat, and any Republican who even thought about breaking ranks would be guaranteeing himself a primary. No serious person can call that governing in any way, shape, or form. I marvel at how the Republicans can have the stones to say something like this. But I spend a lot more time marveling at how the panjandrums of Beltway-think decide that they should be allowed to take such a position and that it should be treated respectfully.

Someone like Fournier probably thinks that he’s not supposed to take positions. But in these three columns, he took a position whether he knows it or not: He took the position that a president who has cut spending three times as much as he has increased revenue, and whose current offer, a mostly even mix of cuts and revenues, is backed by three-quarters of the American people, is being no more reasonable than a minority party that says our way or the highway whose position is supported by 19 percent of the people.

Those positions are not equivalent. To write as if they are equivalent is to perpetrate a lie. Or at least two lies: in the immediate case, the lie that the Republicans are engaged in anything resembling good-faith bargaining; and in the broader sense, the lie that the GOP is a normal political party by our historical norms, just a slightly more intense version of the Democrats of the 1980s or the Whigs of the 1840s. They are not that. They have a radical vision for American society, and while they know they must operate within democratic bounds to try to achieve that vision, they have none of the normal respect for legislative give and take that has characterized American political parties through most of our history.

   380. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4377041)
Ron Fournier of National Journal


Forgot he'd gone there from AP. Worked with him at the Arkansas Democrat (very misnamed; it's kneejerk GOP through & through) in the early '90s. Big Tigers fan, unless I'm confusing him with someone else.
   381. Steve Treder Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4377042)
In a similar vein, Ben Cohen skewers David Brooks' refusal/inability to acknowledge reality:

Last Friday, Brooks penned a piece arguing that the Obama Administration has no serious plan to avoid the sequester other than the default liberal strategy of raising taxes on the rich. The article was widely discredited because as it turns out, the Obama administration does actually have a serious plan to avoid the sequester. Brooks admitted this in an extremely wonkish interview with Ezra Klein, and followed up with another piece in the NYTimes to clarify his position.

Never one to let an opportunity to promote his eugenics based theory of American society, Brooks projects a ‘dream Obama’ who does everything Brooks wants him to do to fix America. This includes:

1. Not blaming Republicans for anything

2. Cutting entitlements

3. Cutting corporate taxes

4. Lecturing poor people for being fat and uneducated.

Of course Brooks version is a lot fancier (because clever people read it), but that’s the gist of it. In David Brooks’s fantasy world, Obama would then be the perfect President – the embodiment of the ‘Composure Class’ who can lead America back to greatness through bold thinking.

Writes Brooks:

"My dream Obama wouldn’t be just one gladiator in the zero-sum budget wars. He’d transform the sequester fight by changing the categories that undergird it. He’d possess the primary ingredient of political greatness: imagination. The great presidents, like Teddy Roosevelt, see situations differently. They ask different questions. History pivots around their terms."

It’s brilliant advice really – the culmination of years of careful study and close observance of the rich and powerful. Forget the fact that the Republicans won’t negotiate in good faith, won’t accept anything the President puts on the table, and won’t confront the lunatic fringe of its party that will never compromise – just think like Malcom Gladwell or one of those clever Silicon Valley app developers and solve the nations problems by ‘seeing situations differently’.
   382. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4377043)
For example, I think Mark Hogancamp may well be among the most creative 1% of people on the planet.


That link reminds me of the documentary I saw on Henry Darger a long time ago. Love that movie as well.
   383. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 27, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4377055)
Forgot he'd gone there from AP. Worked with him at the Arkansas Democrat (very misnamed; it's kneejerk GOP through & through) in the early '90s. Big Tigers fan, unless I'm confusing him with someone else.
Worked with him at the AP. Archetype of the chummy DC insider.
   384. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4377060)
Looking back, I don't have a hard time at all envisioning that.
   385. spike Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:03 PM (#4377063)
Someone like Fournier probably thinks that he’s not supposed to take positions.

Fournier revealed his positions long ago.
   386. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:27 PM (#4377083)
As on board as I am with the annoyance at how much of this has been framed by the "columnist class" I think it is important to note that it is OK for the GOP to be against everything Obama and Democrat. I disagree with them, but that is how the system is, but then the GOP should own their positions, the Dems should own theirs and we can all move along to the next election.

But yeah, "If only Obama would 'lead'" is getting real old, but I don't think it is going away any time soon.
   387. Steve Treder Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:44 PM (#4377096)
I think it is important to note that it is OK for the GOP to be against everything Obama and Democrat. I disagree with them, but that is how the system is, but then the GOP should own their positions, the Dems should own theirs and we can all move along to the next election.

Of course it's OK for the GOP to be against everything Obama and Democrat. That's as American as apple pie.

But the issue here is that the current-day GOP is engaging in much more than simply being against everything Obama and Democrat, in the way that the historical standard of major-party behavior in the US would define being "against." The current-day GOP is ardently abandoning any semblance of negotiation and responsible governance, which is what the system has historically expected and received. This is not normal.
   388. zonk Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:50 PM (#4377105)
Back to hardware for a moment... because I've been having a hardware issue and am STILL in the midst of arguing with the manufacturer about whether I have a software/driver issue or a faulty card/motherboard/PCI on the mb....

I got a new laptop a couple months back - and intentionally, by design did spring for a dedicated gpx card (Nvidia GTZ 660m, 2 gigs onboard). The laptop also has what I think is the standard integrated gpx processing (about a gig, I think). I think it's supposed to work with both in tandem -- offloading/firing up the 660m when demand calls for it.... However, I noticed this wasn't really happening -- EU3 or HOI3 would pop up notes about limited graphics and I also noticed in the 'Windows Scoring' widget on the control panel that the graphics capability was far lower than it should have been (in effect, it wasn't recognizing the 660m as present/attached).

I don't do much in the way of hardcore gaming -- mostly Paradox titles (which do require some relatively current 3d and pixel shader rendering due to the maps), so it wasn't a big deal, but I occasionally fiddled around with it... updating drivers here (I think I went through about 15 different versions - about 5 each from nvidia, from lenovo using their rec'ed specs, and via Windows), playing around with the nvidia control panel settings, etc. I read that the lenovo power management system tends to have a real problem dealing the card - so I also uninstalled that (then reinstalled and also played with those settings).

In the end -- I'm getting a corrupted display display in the Nvidia control panel (you know - the area where you see that 3d shape and and toggle between quality/performance, etc). I ran a variety of utilities -- GPU-Z, system diagnostics, etc.... Using a PCI checker -- I am getting a fatal fault there.

The manufacturer keeps insisting that the hardware isn't the issue - it's either driver related (even though I patiently went through about 2 hours of replicating driver installs and rollbacks with one of their techs that I had done previously) or Windows related (I am running 8).

I keep insisting that even though the hardware listing insists all the components are fine and functioning normally -- there's clearly a fault between the card and the mb, likely in the PCI slot that the card is plugged into... They've finally relented to let me send it in for service - but I'm also a bit concerned that it may not be just a card/slot/board... but might be a fundamental level of incompatibility between the card and the board. From what I've read online, this issue seems to be hitting a lot of people with similar configurations and I'm quite sure it's not above either the manufacturer of the laptop or the gpx card to just pound into place and pray.

The ironic thing about all of this is 1)I only got a laptop because the only desktops around anymore are truly hardcore gaming rigs (which I don't need or really want)... I really couldn't care less about 'power management' since I rarely have it unplugged anyway, and 2)the gpx card is really more than I need anyway, but I just figured it would be nice to have.

Anyone have any thoughts or ideas? I feel pretty sure that it's got to either be faulty hardware (card or pci slot) or a more fundamental incompatibility (in which case, I think I ought to be entitled to a refund, even if just partial, of some sort).
   389. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:51 PM (#4377106)
Noun-verb-9/11 is not a platform with meaningful support on the right.
...in 2008. Maybe he could have made it work in 2004. (I doubt it, given his views on abortion/gay, but at least in 2004 his strength would have been a real strength. But by 2008, 9/11 had lost too much of its salience.)
   390. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:55 PM (#4377112)
But the issue here is that the current-day GOP is engaging in much more than simply being against everything Obama and Democrat, in the way that the historical standard of major-party behavior in the US would define being "against."
This. Because even when Obama proposes a straight-up Republican idea, the GOP rejects it. How do you negotiate with that?
   391. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 27, 2013 at 02:57 PM (#4377114)
But the issue here is that the current-day GOP is engaging in much more than simply being against everything Obama and Democrat, in the way that the historical standard of major-party behavior in the US would define being "against." The current-day GOP is ardently abandoning any semblance of negotiation and responsible governance, which is what the system has historically expected and received. This is not normal.


But he's a Muslim!
   392. The Good Face Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:02 PM (#4377117)
The ironic thing about all of this is 1)I only got a laptop because the only desktops around anymore are truly hardcore gaming rigs (which I don't need or really want)... I really couldn't care less about 'power management' since I rarely have it unplugged anyway, and 2)the gpx card is really more than I need anyway, but I just figured it would be nice to have.


Ook. Should have bought a desktop, you can get a perfectly cromulent one for under $800 that would have met your needs for years to come.

Anyone have any thoughts or ideas? I feel pretty sure that it's got to either be faulty hardware (card or pci slot) or a more fundamental incompatibility (in which case, I think I ought to be entitled to a refund, even if just partial, of some sort).


Who built the laptop for you? What kind of MB and processor do you have in there?
   393. Delorians Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:12 PM (#4377123)
"But he's a Muslim!"

No he isn't. But this guy is:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/27/keith-ellison-sean-hannity-worst-journalist-fox-news_n_2772687.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics
   394. zonk Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:19 PM (#4377128)
Ook. Should have bought a desktop, you can get a perfectly cromulent one for under $800 that would have met your needs for years to come.


It's just extraordinarily difficult to get one anymore -- at least, one configurable... Dell really doesn't do custom builds as well as they used to. Plus - with a quad core and 6 gigs of RAM now stuffed into a laptop, I figured I might as well just make the switchover. FWIW - I did price around, but to basically get similar muscle in a desktop would have been about $300 more.

Who built the laptop for you? What kind of MB and processor do you have in there?


Lenovo - Intel quad core (i7 at 2.3 ghz)... Other than the gpx issue - it's really a pretty good setup.
   395. Randy Jones Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:38 PM (#4377149)
It's just extraordinarily difficult to get one anymore -- at least, one configurable... Dell really doesn't do custom builds as well as they used to. Plus - with a quad core and 6 gigs of RAM now stuffed into a laptop, I figured I might as well just make the switchover. FWIW - I did price around, but to basically get similar muscle in a desktop would have been about $300 more.


If you aren't going to build it yourself, which is by far the best option, then your best bet is to find the cheapest one you can with a decent processor. Then just immediately replace the RAM and video card.
   396. The Good Face Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:45 PM (#4377156)
It's just extraordinarily difficult to get one anymore -- at least, one configurable... Dell really doesn't do custom builds as well as they used to. Plus - with a quad core and 6 gigs of RAM now stuffed into a laptop, I figured I might as well just make the switchover. FWIW - I did price around, but to basically get similar muscle in a desktop would have been about $300 more.


If you want a customized desktop, you need to go outside of the huge manufacturers and find an aftermarket builder. Cyberpower has some very cheap desktops and lets you tinker with the configurations, although their build quality and customer support can be sketchy. Digital Storm is expensive, but has outstanding customer support and customization, along with great build quality. Alternatively, just buy the parts and throw the thing together yourself; desktops are easy enough to assemble, and are dirt cheap if you do your own build. It requires a modicum of homework to ensure compatability, but it sounds like you wound up having to do that anyway...

Lenovo - Intel quad core (i7 at 2.3 ghz)... Other than the gpx issue - it's really a pretty good setup.


An i7 is usually overkill for a home gaming/surfing/email PC. I have a 4+ year old desktop at home running on one of the first gen i7 processors and it's not remotely taxed by any of the new, graphic-intensive games. Anyway, you didn't tell me what MB is in there, although it doubt it matters. FWIW, my gut tells me you just have a jacked up gpx and probably need a new one.
   397. zonk Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4377159)
If you aren't going to build it yourself, which is by far the best option, then your best bet is to find the cheapest one you can with a decent processor. Then just immediately replace the RAM and video card.


I considered build-myself.... but from what I've read, motherboard compatibility is a real bear to deal with. Plus, I'm not sure I'm proficient enough to actually do it right... I.e., I've done plenty of card and memory swap-outs myself, replaced fans, etc... but once you get into issues of proper voltage and such across the broader array of hardware, I'm a bit over my head (at least, beyond the standard "bigger and beastlier must be better"... which means I probably wouldn't be doing it in a cost effective manner anyway).

Ironically enough, I do have a relatively newer desktop with an mb that went bad... I've considered using it as a shell - most of the components are relatively current, so I figure I might just shop around for a new mb, upgrade the processor (its a first gen quad core)... but I do have 8 gigs of RAM, a 2 year old, but then high-end gpx, etc. I may still do that... just slowly and patiently shopping around the core pieces (new mb and processor) I need. I've actually been trying to decide whether to just part it out on ebay/amazon or go that route. I suppose I should probably make up my mind soon since the clock is always ticking on shelf life.
   398. Tripon Posted: February 27, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4377172)

But yeah, "If only Obama would 'lead'" is getting real old, but I don't think it is going away any time soon.


Ryan Howard: I want to be lead, but don't you dare tell me want to do. *Goes to customer service to fight with Kelly.*
   399. Tripon Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:05 PM (#4377178)

An i7 is usually overkill for a home gaming/surfing/email PC. I have a 4+ year old desktop at home running on one of the first gen i7 processors and it's not remotely taxed by any of the new, graphic-intensive games. Anyway, you didn't tell me what MB is in there, although it doubt it matters. FWIW, my gut tells me you just have a jacked up gpx and probably need a new one.


This will change in the next year or two as developers play around with the PS4 and XBox 720 and stop developing PS3/Xbox360 games. You'll start to see a big ramp up in requirements that will leave a lot of old PCs behind.
   400. Randy Jones Posted: February 27, 2013 at 04:07 PM (#4377181)
I considered build-myself.... but from what I've read, motherboard compatibility is a real bear to deal with. Plus, I'm not sure I'm proficient enough to actually do it right... I.e., I've done plenty of card and memory swap-outs myself, replaced fans, etc... but once you get into issues of proper voltage and such across the broader array of hardware, I'm a bit over my head (at least, beyond the standard "bigger and beastlier must be better"... which means I probably wouldn't be doing it in a cost effective manner anyway).


You don't really mess with voltages unless you are attempting to overclock, everything will just run at default voltages without you doing anything. If you get a retail box processor, the HSF will come with thermal compound already applied. Which means you don't have to worry about applying it or lapping the heatsink. The rest is pretty simple, the motherboard has holes for mounting it in the case. The case's wiring and the motherboards jumpers for it are all labelled. Everything else you probably have experience doing already(installing RAM, vid card, HDDs/SSDs). The only other thing to do would be the power supply, but that is simple to install and connecting it is rather straightforward(make sure the motherboard, video card, fans, and hard drives are plugged into it). I haven't really run into any issues with compatibility. Some motherboards seems to have issues with certain models/brands of RAM, but that is rare and generally easy to check if it will be a problem before you purchase.

An i7 is usually overkill for a home gaming/surfing/email PC. I have a 4+ year old desktop at home running on one of the first gen i7 processors and it's not remotely taxed by any of the new, graphic-intensive games. Anyway, you didn't tell me what MB is in there, although it doubt it matters. FWIW, my gut tells me you just have a jacked up gpx and probably need a new one.


This will change in the next year or two as developers play around with the PS4 and XBox 720 and stop developing PS3/Xbox360 games. You'll start to see a big ramp up in requirements that will leave a lot of old PCs behind.


Unfortunately, this will likely take at least 2-3 years before we see a real effect. And even then, a decent i5/i7 will still provide more than enough power such that the GPU will be the limiting factor.
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