Tag: Media

Today in Schadenfreude

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that Alex Jones can be sued for libel by parents of the Sandy Hook mass shooting victims.  (Also various other sundry people that he accused of being false flag actors)

It was enough of a slam dunk that they did not even bother to write an opinion:

An empire built on conjecture, conspiracy and a series of fake homeopathic cures for various ailments stands to be sued into oblivion after a Friday ruling by the Supreme Court of Texas.

Without comment, the Lone Star State’s highest civil court found that America’s foremost conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, and his flagship media outlet, InfoWars, are subject to liability in four separate defamation lawsuits filed over the past two-plus years. Those lawsuits were filed by parents of children who were killed during the Sandy Hook massacre and by a man Jones and his network falsely identified as the perpetrator of the Parkland massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.


Immediately after the 2012 shooting that left 20 children and six teachers dead in Newtown, Connecticut, Jones used his by-then vast platform to spread the idea that the murders were part of a “false flag” operation meant to scare the population into giving up their guns and Second Amendment rights. Jones also smeared the parents of the dead children, calling them “crisis actors.” None of those claims were true but the pernicious ideas gained traction among the easily-influenced.


“Our clients have been tormented for five years by Mr. Jones’ ghoulish accusations that they are actors who faked their children’s deaths as part of a fraud on the American people,” Bankston said in a statement at the time, “Enough is enough.”


Marcel Fontane, a Massachusetts resident who has never been to Florida, also sued Jones and InfoWars during the spring of 2018 after being singled out by Jones and InfoWars reporter Kit Daniels–falsely accusing him of being the Parkland shooter in a vain attempt to link the massacre to the political far-left. The outlet also published a photograph of Fontaine wearing a satirical t-shirt depicting several former Communist historical figures.

Here’s hoping that they take him for all he has.

To quote Billie Ray Velentine from the movie Trading Places, “You know, it occurs to me that the best way to hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.”

H/t Ecop at the Stellar Parthenon BBS.

Weirdest Thing on Twitter Ever

Today I learnt that in 1995 Iggy Pop reviewed Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire for peer-reviewed academic journal Classics Ireland pic.twitter.com/a6dTtlqRer

— Hannah Rose Woods (@hannahrosewoods) January 3, 2021


This is Iggy Pop

Did you know that Iggy Pop was published in a peer reviewed journal? 

Not kidding.

He reviewed Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

I always knew that Pop was “eclectic”, but this is WAY more eclectic that I could possibly imagined.

Equally surprising is that when I did a Google search for peer reviewed articles published by Flaming Lips front-man Wayne Coyne, there is nothing.

In fact, I did a rather extensive series of searches, and could find no other Rock and Roller with a peer reviewed article.

Go figure.

Megan McCain, Communist

McCain: “I started getting angry that conservatives in particular, given we are the party of family values.. that we are leaving women in this country without the capacity and ability to heal physically [after childbirth]”

— Emily Peck (@EmilyRPeck) January 4, 2021


It’s axiomatic that conservatives suddenly become liberals when the business of governing touches upon them and theirs.

We saw this with Sandra Day O’Connor, where her reputation for moderation was better described by narcissism:  If she had been effected by it, whether it be sexism or reproductive rights, she was suddenly moderate.

About people who weren’t her, and did not look like her or live a life like her, it’s back to conservatism.

And now we see Meghan McCain doing the same thing.

After having a baby, she realizes that there needs to be some sort of regulation mandating paid maternity leave.

Socialism for me, and capitalism for thee.

If you are morally incapable of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes unless it happened to you, you might be a conservative.

Drunk Blogging the Debates

Final analysis:  Biden did not lose, so he won.

Trump really didn’t make a case for himself though.

I am at no risk of alcohol poisoning at this juncture, so I call this personal win.

The debate is over, thank God.

It was far less chaotic than I had anticipated.

OK, I have learned that rum and coke is dangerous.

This may be the drunkest I have ever been in a debate.

F%$# this, I need to watch cat videos.

A quick note:  Biden just has to not lose.

He has managed not to lose so far.

Trump is talking about the bird kills and massive carbon footprint of windmills.

This is a lie.

He goes back to claiming that Biden will ban fracking.  (False)

Had to feed the cats some wet food to make sure that Destructo gets enough water in his diet.

I am so f%$#ing sh%$faced right now.

Anthropogenic climate change comes up.

Trump has a valid queation, “Why didn’t you  do anything you get anything done in the 8 years that you were VP?”  About crime.

This is a talking point of his, but it is accurate.

Biden actually admits to his earlier crime bills were a mistake.

I am completely sh%$ faced.

Biden, “This guy has a dog whistle as big as a fog horn.”


Moderator confronts Trump on his racist rhetoric.

Trump claims to be the least racist person in the room.  Only if David Duke is stuck with him in an elevator.

Trump brings up a valid point:  Biden has over 40 years in politics, and over 8 years as VP, and these things were never addressed.

Don’t know whether this will stick.

Thank god for real-time spell checking.  Without it, this will be comepletely incpomprehensible.

I am unequivocally drunk.

Biden correctly reminds people that Trump called for the innocent kids from the Central Park 5.

Biden talks relatively honestly, but does not mention his role in shepherding Clinton’s horrible crime bill through the Senate.

Trump brings up the 1994 crime bill.  (True)  And claims that he has done more for the minority community than anyone since Lincoln (F%$#ing lie).

Trump talks up opportunity zones, which is money to rich white developers like ……… Donald Trump.

Race in America.

Talking about “The Talk” that minorities have to give their kids a talk about how cops will just shoot you.

The colloquy over immigration is just dueling liars.

Trump is horrible and cruel, and Obama, and by extension Biden, was horrible and cruel.

Trump talks about immigrant murders and rapists.  Take an drink.

Trump makes the point that punitive immigration policies start with Obama.  The cages, etc.

That is actually true.  

Take a drink.

Trump talks about the beautiful wall.

There is not enough alcohol in the world.

$15.00/hr minimum wage.

Trump says, “Leave it up to the states,” just like segregationists said about civil rights.


Trump says that the stimulus is a bailout for blue cities and states, and handouts to illegal aliens.

When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on you side, pound the table.

Trump accuses Nancy Pelosi of playing politics with stimulus.  Well, duh!

Trump claims that Biden living in Scranton as a kid is a fraud.

I need to drink more.

Trump says that Kamala Harris is more liberal than Bernie Sanders.

I am clearly not drinking ENOUGH.

Biden notes that his plan adds a public option, and that he is opposed to single payer.

Bad move, let the ambiguity benefit your electoral prospects.  Single payer polls over 50% with Republicans.

Trump claims that Biden will create a single payer system.

This is:

  • Not true.
  • A stupid thing to accuse Biden of, it’s like accusing Biden of supporting motherhood.

Shifts to Amy Coney Barret and Obamacare.

Trump claims credit for eliminating the personal mandate, and that Obamacare sucks.  

He’s right that Obamacare sucks, but he has no plan, and if he did it would be worse.

The moderator is losing control.  Will they cut the mic?

The DPRK comes up.

Trump’s claims of his wonderful relationship with Kim are bullsh%$.

So is Bidens’s dick swinging on the DPRK, the standard Council on Foreign Relations crap.

Tweedle Dee, meet Tweedle Dumber.

Trump: China, China, China!

Biden talks about Trump’s secret China bank accounts and his refusing to release his tax returns.

Trump claims that he he prepaid his taxes (bullsh%$) and accuses Biden of corruption.  

More drinking.

Biden talks about Trump’s formerly secret China accounts

Trump brings up the Ukraine story.  Take two drinks.

Pivots to national security, and now it’s all Russia and Iran and election meddling.

Screw that.  I want to know how we get out of forever wars, and how we stop the US from being a purveyor of misery and drone strikes.

Good question from the moderator.  She called out Trump for trash talking Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Trump responds with false praise for the doctor.

Biden notes that Trump is responding by blaming blue states.

Trump responds to this by blaming blue states.

Trump notes that there is soaring drug abuse, domestic violence, suicides, etc. during the pandemic.

Remind me, who is sitting in the oval office right now?

I am watching on the BBC, because American talking heads make me ill.

Unfortunately, there is some sort of problem at the Beeb studios, with libs not matching the words.

It’s refreshingly surreal.

It’s over. Jeebus.  I need a f%$#ing drink.

Getting some cross-talk now drinking.

Biden:  Paraphrases to, “What did he know, and when did he know it?”

I love it when someone uses a classic.

Not much interruptions yet, so I’m just having a pleasant drink and an unpleasant watch.

Biden notes that Trump is spending his time claiming that it will go away, instead of dealing with the problems.

Trump tries to deflect to China.

Shorter version Joe Biden response on Covid-19, “This guy has no clue, and is lying, and the US is in worse shape than the rest of Europe.

Donald Trump is asked about what he will/has done on Covid-19.  Claims that everything is good, and that he is immune.

I think that he is arguing that he is Superman.  Take a drink.

Introduction with notes that the microphones will be off for person B when person A is asked a question.

Hello Nurse!!!!

Be still my beating heart

In a few weeks, they will be releasing the first new episodes of Animaniacs in over 20 years.

This will include Pinky and the Brain, but, unfortunately, no new Goodfeathers bits:

Readers of a certain age will have fond childhood memories of weekday afternoons spent in the company of the Warner siblings, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, the central figures of the hugely popular, Emmy-award winning animated series, Animaniacs. Now a whole new generation can appreciate their comic genius with Hulu’s revival of the show, slated to debut next month.

The premise of the original Animaniacs was that Yakko, Wakko, and Dot were characters from the 1930s who were locked way in a water tower on the Warner Bros. lot until they escaped in the 1990s. Now they exist to wreak havoc and have fun. The format borrowed heavily from sketch comedy, with each episode typically featuring three short mini-episodes centered on different characters, connected by bridging segments. Other regular characters included two genetically altered lab mice, Pinky and the Brain, who are always trying to take over the world; Ralph the Security Guard; Slappy Squirrel and her nephew, Skippy; Chicken Boo; Flavio and Marita, aka the Hip Hippos; studio psychiatrist Dr. Otto Scratchansniff and Hello Nurse (also a common catchphrase); and a trio of pigeons known as The Goodfeathers.

As appealing to adults as to kids, the show was smart, funny, irreverent, and even educational, especially with its playful songs listing the nations of the world, for instance, or all the US states and their capitals—set to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw”—or all the presidents set to the “William Tell Overture.” (My personal favorite was “The Solar System Song,” complete with the obligatory joke about Uranus.) The writers were masters of parody, so much so that it became something of a badge of honor to be so featured. Honorees included A Hard Day’s Night, Seinfeld, Friends, Bambi, Power Rangers, Rugrats, and The Lion King, as well as the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore. And of course, the Goodfeathers segments invariably parodied characters from both The Godfather and Goodfellas.

When the original series began streaming on Netflix, it proved so popular that Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation began thinking about reviving Animaniacs. They ultimately inked a deal with Hulu, which included the rights for the original series, as well as Tiny Toon Adventures, Pinky and the Brain, and Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain. (That means we can all revisit our favorites on Hulu.) Spielberg returned as executive producer and insisted on bringing back most of the original voice cast for the reboot. A first-look clip debuted earlier this month at the virtual New York Comic-Con (embedded below), parodying Jurassic Park (John Hammond—or rather, a cartoon Spielberg channeling Hammond—reanimates the Warner siblings).

I hope that the writing holds up.

The original was magic.

Adding to My List of They Who Must Not Be Named

Jeffrey Toobin.

I’m pretty sure that he won’t care about this.  He has his hands full. (Heh)

My standard statement upon putting someone on this list is:

Absent some sort of political activity, such as endorsements, running for office (PLEASE GOD NO!!), or their attempting to assassinate someone, they will not be mentioned here.

Toobin is primarily a pundit, so it’s unlikely that he will actually break news, or have an original idea, so this is probably the last time that you will hear about him here.

The Real Petri Dish for Conspiracy Theories

Is anyone surprised that Fox News is where conspiracy theories get their wings:

We’ve discussed in the past Yochai Benkler’s excellent book “Network Propaganda,” (and had Benkler on our podcast) showing (with a ton of data) how the inclination many have to immediately blame social media for the spread of disinformation is, in its own way, misinformation itself. What the research found was that crazy conspiracy theories didn’t really spread as fast until they showed up on Fox News. That was basically the catalyst for them to then spread wildly on social media.

(Emphasis original)

I’m not particularly surprised.

Jon Stewart documented the Fox News bullsh%$ factory many years ago.

Sober Blogging the Presidential Debates

It’s over. Jeebus.  I need a f%$#ing drink.

Chris Wallace asks the candidates to ask their supporters not to freak out during a progracted recount, and not to declare victory , Trump’s response, “If it’s a fair election ………”

Biden’s response, “Yes, and the fraud issue is bullsh%$.”

Chris Wallace pivots to election integrity.  (He is well and truly sick of Trump not following the rules)

Biden exhorts people to vote, and he weakly implies that Trump is trying to steal the election.

Trump just said, “Crooked Hillary Clinton.”  If this were a drunk blog, I would have finished all the alcohol in the house, and gone to hospital. 

Trump is pushing his fraud strategy, big time.

Did Trump actually suggest dropping a nuke on a hurricane?

Furious Googling: Sweet mother of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it’s true.

The environment is the next segment.

Trump blusters.

Biden talks a bit about what he plans to do, but it does not sound sincere.

This is a mass-extinction crisis, a literal end of the world as we know it.  I would appreciate some more enthusiasm.

I am finding it increasingly difficult to pay attention.

Shoot me now!!!

Chris Wallace is clearly pissed at Trump, demands that he call out right wing milita groups, Trump refuses, and tells Trump, “We’re done, sir.”

I’m wondering if any of the moderators at the later events are drafting their resignation letters as I type.

Biden says that Trump has been pouring gasoline on a fire.  True, but meaningless.

Now they are spewing crime stats at each other.

Trump is attempting to conflate anti-racism with hating America.

He actually has a point:  Racism in America is as American as Apple Pie.

Biden is stuttering a bit.  It’s the first time that I have noticed it.

Biden flat out says that justice is not administered fairly in the US.

Race comes up, and Biden criticizes him, but Biden should call him a racist using that word.  It will drive him crazy.

OMFG, Trump tells the truth about Biden’s record on crime and race, particularly on the Clinton crime.

This may be the first True thing he has said in the debate.

Wallace actually called out Trump for his constant interrupting.  I did not expect that.

Biden may have had the best line so far, “You had good people, and you fired them.”

More crosstalk, and I am feeling pity for Chris Wallace.

Did Trump just say to Biden, “No, you’re number 2?”

Really mature dude.  This is not middle school.

Trump is arguing that the stock market is the economy.

Biden just called Trump the worst President ever.  Cool.

Wallace asks Trump about his taxes.

Trump evades, and Wallace presses (I’m impressed), and Trump says that he pays, “Millions”.

Trump goes off again, and Chris Wallace is quietly losing his mind.

Trump claims that he saved football.  Yeah, right.

Biden explains the K-shaped economy, raises Trump’s taxes.

It’s an OK strategy for him, and he does sound sincere when he talks about the plight of first responders.

Wallace is pivots to the economy.

Trump: China China China.

Also, I think that Trump is even more orange than normal.

Also Trump:  Democrat governors are conspiring against me.

Wallace is asking about the size of their rallies vis a vis Covid. WTF? 

It’s now dick measuring.


Chris Wallace has the worst job in the world.

Trump objects to Biden calling him stupid.  It’s a raw nerve, hammer on it constantly.

Trump will lose his sh%$ if you do this.

Biden calls Trump a liar again.  When do you call him a con-man and a tax cheat?

The entire back and forth over Covid is heat completely devoid of light.

It’s like some bizarre collapsing star.


Trump is claiming that “Democrat Governors” are praising his actions.

Wallace moves on to the pandemic.

Biden goes first, and tears into Trump, brings up his praise for Xi Jinping’s handling of the pandemic.

Trump’s response, “China, China, China.”


Wallace asks about packing the court and eliminating the filibuster, Biden is very non committal, though I liked his, “Keep Yappin’ man barb to Donald Trump.

And then he pivots back to Obamacare, because he’s trying to run as Obama’s 3rd term.

I think that this is a losing proposition. 9:17pm:
Biden just dropped the, “L-bomb,” and called Trump a liar.

Trump is arguing more with moderator Chris Wallace than he is with Biden.

Biden notes that Trump is trying to reverse Roe v. Wade.

Trump tries to sleaze out of his support of criminalizing abortions.

Trump is a noun, a verb, and socialism.

First question on Amy Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme court.

Trump’s respnse is, “Neener Neener, I have Mitch McConnel, so f%$# you.”

Biden pivots to it being an assault on Obamacare.

Then he compliments Barrett. (No, just no, you moron)

Trump is saying that there are not 100,000,000 people with pre-existing conditions.
Yes, there are.

Burying the Lede

So, Gabriel Debenedetti of the New York Times has reviewed Michael Schmidt’s book, DONALD TRUMP V. THE UNITED STATES (Inside the Struggle to Stop a President).

What is interesting how this very chatty review completely buries the lede.

11 paragraphs, and this waits until the penultimate paragraph before this reveal:

More interesting, however, is the constant flow of shocking anecdotes: Schmidt writes that Mitch McConnell fell asleep during a classified briefing on Russia, for example, and he details the F.B.I.’s shambolic reaction to evidence of the hacking in 2016, including an unresolved disagreement over how to handle the material. Describing Trump’s unexpected November 2019 visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he reports the White House wanted Mike Pence “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.” (The vice president never had to take this step.)

(Emphasis mine)

How is an allegation that Trump had a medical emergency that sent him to Walter Reed, and then covered it up not the lede?

H/t Southpaw for tweeting this.

Took Them Long Enough

About 3 months ago, I wrote about how Gilead Pharmaceuticals, the company that is trying to sell Remdesivir as a Covid-19 cure, was suppressing another drug that is cheaper to make, and appears to have lower toxicity because it has less time left on its patent.

Well, the news is now beginning to hit the mainstream, if this story from ABC News is a part of a trend:

After initial excitement about the discovery of a promising treatment for some coronavirus patients, executives with Gilead Sciences are now facing harsh criticism over the initial business decisions they’ve made in the midst of a pandemic.

In recent days, state leaders and a government watchdog group have leveled complaints against the company for the price point it set for its antiviral drug remdesivir, a promising treatment shown to diminish recovery time in hospitalized coronavirus patients, and for allegedly not more quickly pursing a potentially cheaper alternative. Gilead holds exclusive manufacturing rights for remdesivir.

“Gilead, on the one hand, has a product that helps people” said Dr. Erin Fox, the senior pharmacy director at the University of Utah. “But on the other hand, it does feel like they’re taking advantage of the situation.”

Seriously, Dr. Fox, taking advantage of the situation is a core business strategy of rat-f%$#s like Gliead.

In a letter to Gilead executives and federal health officials last week, government watchdog group Public Citizen encouraged the company to investigate whether another of its patented antivirals, called GS-441524, could serve as a viable and less expensive substitute to remdesivir, even though it may make the company less money.

The health research experts at Public Citizen, joined in signing the letter by two cancer medicine experts at University of Texas’s MD Anderson Cancer Center, argue that the cheaper drug “is very similar in chemical structure and activity to remdesivir” — and may even “offer significant advantages over remdesivir.” The watchdog group posits that Gilead may be withholding it because its patent expires five years sooner than does remdesivir’s, the company would stand to profit more if remdesivir remained the only available treatment.

“It is unclear why Gilead and federal scientists have not been pursuing GS-441524 as aggressively as remdesivir,” the letter continues, “but we cannot help but note that there are significant financial incentives tied to Gilead’s current patent holdings.”

I would note that there is a thriving black market for GS-441524, because it has been shown to be remarkably effective against an almost universally fatal condition in cats called Feline Infectious Peritonitis, which is caused by a ……… wait for it ……… a corona virus.

Gilead decided not to market GS-441524 to veterinarians because they were looking at human applications, and side-effects on cats might interfere with more lucrative human applications.

Let’s be clear:  Gilead wants to murder your cats.

The Studios Get the Goose to the Chopping Block

Pirating films and music was very much a thing from the late 1990s through the middle of the teens.

It has largely died down because paid streaming services delivered a better product at a reasonable price.

However, the media conglomerates have been creating their own streaming services and making their content exclusive in order to get the entire revenue stream.

So, now instead of Netflix and Hule with a large overlap of content and each costing less than a double sawbuck, you now have something north of dozen services, each charging at least $20/month and having narrow catalogues.

It makes everything a major pain in the ass.

Case in point, the Harry Potter films:

The rise of streaming video competitors is indisputably a good thing. Numerous new streaming alternatives have driven competition to an antiquated cable TV sector that has long been plagued by apathy, high rates, and comically-bad customer service. That’s long overdue and a positive thing overall, as streaming customer satisfaction scores suggest.

But as the sector matures, there’s a looming problem it seems oblivious to.

Increasingly, companies are pulling their content off central repositories like Hulu and Netflix, and making them exclusive to their own streaming platforms, forcing consumers to subscribe to more and more streaming services if they want to get all the content they’re looking for.

Want to watch Star Trek: Discovery, you need CBS All Access. Can’t miss Stranger Things? You’ll need Netflix. The Boys? Amazon Prime. The Handmaid’s Tale? Hulu. Friends? AT&T. This week it was Comcast’s turn in announcing that the Harry Potter films would now be exclusive to Comcast’s new streaming service, Peacock. Of course it’s not as simple as all that. The titles will appear and disappear for the next few years, being free for a while… then shifting to a pay per view model for a while:


No, AT&T and Comcast probably aren’t going to “share” the Harry Potter films, meaning that to watch them you need to embrace the Comcast ecosystem. And while superficially you can easily understand why companies would want to lock down massive droves of exclusive content to drive subscriptions as the streaming wars heat up, there’s a certain myopia going on in terms of the impact. There doesn’t seem to be much of an awareness of that while competition is certainly good, having too many cordoned off exclusivity silos and too many content licenses shifting under the feet of consumers could generate confusion and drive more people to the simplicity of piracy.

So The Office is leaving Netflix in 2021 to go to an NBC streaming service…. pic.twitter.com/TdVgxfvsgk

— Jamie (@Jamie_2455) June 26, 2019

In fact, there’s some early anecdotal evidence this is already happening, and a few studies predicting it will get worse as every broadcaster and their moms jump into the streaming space. A 2019 Deloitte study found that nearly half (47 percent) of US consumers already suffer from “subscription fatigue,” and 56 percent were frustrated by quickly changing licensing deals.

The studios are painting targets on their shoes, and taking careful aim.

In just one example, the cost of YouTube TV has gone from $35 to $65 a month over the past few years.

This is not a good customer experience.

Something Weird is Going On

The White House press corps(e) has just been kicked off the White House grounds, which is a very unusual development.

This is a highly unusual development. They didn’t do this when Trump cowered in inspected the White House bunker 3 weeks ago.

I see a few possibilities:

  • Trump is cowering in inspecting the bunker again, and does not want the press to see.
  • He’s having a physical health problem.
  • He is having some sort of mental breakdown, likely losing his sh%$ over his underwhelming Tulsa campaign rally.

Anyone wanna take bets on which is this?

Times Endorses Jamaal Bowman

The New York Times just announced its Congressional endorsements, and they just endorsed Jamaal Bowman over incumbent Eliot Engel:


DISTRICT 16 (northern parts of the Bronx and southern half of Westchester County, including Mt. Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle and Rye): The current representative — Eliot Engel — has been in Congress since 1989, and his connections to the district seem to have frayed.

He was criticized for not returning home even as the coronavirus raged through communities he represents, particularly New Rochelle. When he did return for this race, he was caught on a hot mic pushing for a chance to speak during a protest rally, saying, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

His main challenger is Jamaal Bowman, an educator for more than 20 years and a fierce advocate for public schools. Mr. Bowman helped found a public middle school in the Bronx, the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, and promises to work for all of the district, including sections he says have been neglected during Mr. Engel’s time in Congress.

Mr. Bowman says he wants to see the United States adopt a kind of Marshall Plan for climate change, jobs, housing and education. “We need political imagination,” he said. In a district that needs new energy, Mr. Bowman will bring it.

I’m beginning to think that Bowman is less of a long shot than I thought when I wrote about this 11 days ago.

It’s important to remember that primary challenges are important even when they fail, and a relatively low success rate is a given.

Dan Lipinski has already been taken out this election cycle, and if Engel is taken down, it will put fear in the hearts of a lot of Democratic Party incumbents.


H/T Diane Ravitch.

Political Correctness Run Amuck

HBO is doing a reboot of the Warner Brothers’ Looney Toons cartoon, and they are ‘taking Elmer Fudd’s gun away.

I get that guns are a problem in today’s society, but we are talking about guns in the context of hunting, and it’s ELMER F%$#ING FUDD!!!!!

It boggles the mind what some people will do to create the APPEARANCE of doing something about a problem while not actually doing anything.

We Now Know Where Microsoft® Bob® Works

Microsoft’s MSN network is attempting to replace human editors with artificial “Intelligence”.

Much fail ensues:

Microsoft’s decision to replace human journalists with robots has backfired, after the tech company’s artificial intelligence software illustrated a news story about racism with a photo of the wrong mixed-race member of the band Little Mix.

A week after the Guardian revealed plans to fire the human editors who run MSN.com and replace them with Microsoft’s artificial intelligence code, an early rollout of the software resulted in a story about the singer Jade Thirlwall’s personal reflections on racism being illustrated with a picture of her fellow band member Leigh-Anne Pinnock.


Microsoft does not carry out original reporting but employs human editors to select, edit and repurpose articles from news outlets, including the Guardian. Articles are then hosted on Microsoft’s website and the tech company shares advertising revenue with the original publishers. At the end of last month, Microsoft decided to fire hundreds of journalists in the middle of a pandemic and fully replace them with the artificial intelligence software.


In advance of the publication of this article, staff at MSN were told to expect a negative article in the Guardian about alleged racist bias in the artificial intelligence software that will soon take their jobs.

Because they are unable to stop the new robot editor selecting stories from external news sites such as the Guardian, the remaining human staff have been told to stay alert and delete a version of this article if the robot decides it is of interest and automatically publishes it on MSN.com. They have also been warned that even if they delete it, the robot editor may overrule them and attempt to publish it again.

Staff have already had to delete coverage criticising MSN for running the story about Little Mix with the wrong image after the AI software decided stories about the incident would interest MSN readers.

Epic fail.

Watching What Might Be the Best Police Procedural Movie Ever

The 1974 version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, directed by Joseph Sargent, screenplay by Peter Stone, and starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Héctor Elizondo, Martin Balsam, and Jerry Stiller.

In addition to being an excellent cop movie, it’s also an excellent transit movie, and it has the most famous sneeze in cinema.

It is also a glorious snap-shot of the culture and weirdness of New York City in the 1970s.

It may be the most New York City movie ever.

After I saw the movie, I read the book, and was not impressed, but this movie was genius.

The 2 remakes that followed, not so much.

Trevor Noah Needs an Audience

I watched The Daily Show on Monday, and they are doing a shut in show, with Noah in front of a single camera, with people Skyping in.

Noah is off his game, even though the words in his monologue and discussions are pretty much the same.  (I guess that the writers are working from home too)

His performance, though, is VERY flat.

I think that he feeds off of his audience when he does his performances, and so he is strangely unmoored when it’s just him hunkering down in his apartment.

Hopefully, he will improve over time.

No Jury in the World Will Convict Them

Yes, this is an actual lawsuit, and the fact that the judge has not thrown this out, and imposed sanctions on the plaintiffs is a miscarriage of justice.

From a more pragmatic perspective, trying to convince a jury to find in favor of the cable companies’ mot egregious rip-offs is just not going to happen. Ever.

Broadcom is suing Netflix for being so successful that people have cut their cable subscriptions and ditched the set-top boxes that make the chip designer a huge profit.

In a lawsuit [PDF] filed late last week in California, the San Jose-based Broadcom – which designs and sells chipsets used in millions of set-top boxes – argued that “Netflix has caused, and continues to cause, substantial and irreparable harm to the Broadcom Entities [that] sell semiconductor chips used in the set top boxes that enable traditional cable television services.

“Upon information and belief, as a direct result of the on-demand streaming services provided by Netflix, the market for traditional cable services that require set top boxes has declined, and continues to decline, thereby substantially reducing Broadcom’s set top box business.”

It’s a ridiculous claim: that because one business changes the market that you can then sue it for the impact of the changes. But there is, of course, an underlying legal case and that is that Broadcom claims Netflix is infringing its patents.


It’s hard to have sympathy for a company claiming about a loss of business from cable set-tops: the clunky outdated boxes are notoriously overpriced. Cable companies insist that they have to be “rented” by consumers and charge dozens of times their real value. The average American pays $231 a year for their box, resulting in $20bn a year in almost pure profit for the cable industry.

Seriously, if this goes to trial, I expect the jury to beat the Broadcom’s lawyers to death with sticks.