Tag: Media

23 Years

Honestly, I never expected Harvey Weinstein to get such a long sentence, but IMHO, it is well justified:

Harvey Weinstein, the titan of Hollywood turned convicted rapist, has been sentenced to 23 years in prison on Wednesday in New York.

The fallen mogul was handed down his punishment by Judge James Burke at the New York supreme court having been convicted of two counts of sexual assault. The judge imposed 20 years for a first-degree criminal sex act for forcing oral sex on a production assistant, Miriam Haley, in 2006.

He also imposed a three-year sentence for third-degree rape of a woman whom the Guardian is not naming because her wishes over identification are not clear.

The two sentences will run consecutively, meaning that Weinstein, 67, will have to complete the terms of the criminal sex act before serving the rape sentence.


The Bloomberg Picture Gets Worse and Worse

Now we learn that the Sackler family attempted to enlist Michael Bloomberg and his media empire to rehabilitate their public image.

It should note that there is no evidence of any direct actions by Bloomberg on behalf of the notorious opioid pushing family, but it DOES present an image of a media organization whose culture is deliberately and aggressively shaped to provide positive coverage to the billionaire class.

As such, this is something which will not play well in either the primary or the general election:

Long celebrated as civic-minded philanthropists, the Sacklers were becoming pariahs. The billionaire family whose company created and pushed the addictive painkiller OxyContin had managed to escape connection with the opioid crisis for years, but now two magazine pieces were portraying them as pain profiteers. Museums that had sought their donations were being asked about giving the money back. Mortimer D.A. Sackler — son of a co-founder of the company, Purdue Pharma, and a member of its board — was openly furious.

And so he turned to a person he knew and admired in the media industry. A person known as a devoted public health crusader, widely recognized for banning smoking in public places and pushing soda taxes around the country: Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire ex-mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg L.P.

“I am meeting with Michael Bloomberg tomorrow morning at 10 am to seek his help and guidance on the current issues we are facing,” Sackler wrote to Purdue’s top executives in December 2017. “I plan to discuss the following with him: 1. Current narrative vs the truth. 2. What advice does he have on how best to deal with it? 3. Does he have a journalist that he would recommend who could get the FULL story out there”?

Previously undisclosed emails, including some filed in lawsuits against Purdue and others provided by sources, reveal a little-known relationship, forged in part by mutual philanthropic interests, between the Sacklers and Michael Bloomberg. They show that when the Sacklers were facing critical media coverage, they looked to Bloomberg and his news and philanthropic organizations for help. Bloomberg advised Mortimer Sackler on how to handle negative coverage in 2017, and steered the family to a crisis communications specialist who had been his mayoral press secretary. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies staff met with Sackler to discuss launching a joint initiative to combat the opioid crisis.

Now that Michael Bloomberg has joined the Democratic presidential campaign, his history in public life, his role as a news executive and his business history are being re-examined. As his rivals criticize his wealth and accuse him of trying to buy the nomination, his relationship with the Sacklers could prove problematic. Unlike some other candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, Bloomberg has not publicly denounced the Sacklers for their role in fostering the opioid epidemic. While “it is not Mike’s usual practice to call out individual companies or company owners,” a spokesperson for Bloomberg Philanthropies said, he has “certainly called out” opioid manufacturers as a group.


When it came to coverage of their family and its business, the Sacklers felt comfortable reaching out. In fall 2014, Theresa Sackler called then-Serpentine Galleries director Julia Peyton-Jones to express concern about a forthcoming Bloomberg Businessweek story.

“Theresa Sackler rang me about a reporter from Bloomberg who is tracking everyone in the Sackler family and is writing what she believes will be an unflattering article referring to Sackler ‘dirty drug money,’” Peyton-Jones emailed Jemma Read, the London-based head of Bloomberg Corporate Philanthropy. “Theresa thinks that MB’s name could be mentioned in the article. She has no wish to interfere editorially in any way, however, she does want to alert Mike to the situation, and I would be grateful if you could make him aware of it.”

Read then emailed Theresa Sackler, asking for the reporter’s name. Sackler responded by identifying David Armstrong, then a reporter on Bloomberg’s investigations team. “We REALLY don’t want to interfere in any journalist’s work,” she wrote. “Just would not wish MB to be embarrassed by his association with the Serpentine Sackler gallery.” Read followed up by emailing Armstrong (now a senior reporter at ProPublica), asking when the story was scheduled to appear.

The piece was dropped from the magazine’s lineup a day before the issue closed and later ran in a shortened version on Bloomberg’s website and terminal. Editors who worked on the story say that it was handled on its journalistic merits, and that such last-minute changes were common.


Aware that Bloomberg Businessweek was working on the Sackler story, Brendan Coffey, then a member of the billionaires team, started to build a model to evaluate their wealth. But he realized it wasn’t a priority for his editors, and didn’t finish the project. “After Mike came back, the wind shifted,” said Coffey, who has since left Bloomberg. “It was a culture of not wanting to upset billionaires.”


That same year, Bloomberg threatened to shutter Bloomberg View, part of the news organization’s opinion section, after getting a call from a friend, the billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson. Paulson was upset about a snarky column that suggested his record-breaking donation to Harvard should have gone to “literally any other charity.” Bloomberg cooled down over the weekend and decided that Bloomberg View could stay open, but the columnist was given a talking to, according to people familiar with the incident.

Adventures in Cowardice

ABC News, which has has been targeted by James O’Keefe’s Veritas Project, has responded by complete capitulation.

Why our media sucks wet farts from dead pigeons:

ABC News suspended one of its veteran correspondents late Tuesday for unguarded remarks he made in a video by operatives of Project Veritas, the conservative group that records “undercover” footage of mainstream journalists to bolster its accusations of media bias.

The network disciplined David Wright, who reports for ABC’s signature news programs, including “World News Tonight,” “Good Morning America” and “Nightline,” several people confirmed late Tuesday.

He was venting at a bar, and he was venting about how ABC was more interested about eyeballs and ratings than it was about actual news.

Oh, the horror.

Fredrick Samuel Hiatt, Would You Please Go Now?

Normally, I’d suggest that the most batsh%$ insane bit of punditry over the past week or so would be Chris Matthews likening Bernie Sanders’ victory in the Nevada caucus to the Nazi defeat of France in 1940.

This week, I’d be wrong, because Washington Post editorial editor Fred Hiatt just penned an article stating that Bernie Sanders is the real climate change denier because he isn’t listening to the opinions of oil company executives:


Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to make such things happen, as Patrick Pouyanné told me last week. Pouyanné is one of those people whose hatred Sanders might welcome; he is chairman and chief executive of Paris-based Total, one of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies.

As Dan Froomkin pithily notes,(Cleaned up from a Twitter post) “The author of this piece, Fred Hiatt, runs the Washington Post’s opinion side. And as I have long argued, he has done more damage to the Post brand than anyone since Janet Cooke.”


Guilty, Guilty, Guilty


Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault in a New York court Monday, the first conviction to emerge from the dozens of misconduct allegations against the once-powerful movie producer.

The jury determined that Weinstein forced oral sex on former production assistant Mimi Haleyi at his apartment in July 2006 and raped former aspiring actress Jessica Mann at a hotel in 2013.

He was found not guilty of the most severe charges, of predatory sexual assault, which would have acknowledged a pattern that included forcing sex on actress Annabella Sciorra in 1993 or 1994.

Weinstein, 67, faces at least five years and up to 25 on the count of first-degree criminal sex act for his assault on Haleyi, and up to four years on a third-degree rape count for the Mann encounter. The judge can consider running the sentences consecutively, for a maximum of 29 years. Sentencing is scheduled for March 11.

Here’s hoping that he never sees the outside of stir again.

This is Not Surprised Face

I’m not:

Popular e-cigarette maker Juul intentionally and egregiously tailored its marketing to appeal to underage youth, according to a lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on February 12. The company’s early marketing in 2015 and 2016 purposefully used young, “cool” models in its launch campaign, recruited teen “influencers” on social media, and bought banner and video advertisements on numerous websites aimed at teens and children, including Cartoon Network’s cartoonnetwork.com and Nickelodeon’s sites Nick.com and NickJr.com. Juul even went so far as to give advice to underage consumers over email on how to get around age restrictions to make online purchases of the company’s e-cigarettes.

The lawsuit lands as public health officials across the nation are still grappling with an explosion in e-cigarette use by youth, which the Food and Drug Administration has referred to as an “epidemic.” Between 2011 and 2019, recent use of e-cigarettes by middle schoolers increased from 0.6 percent to 10.5 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For high schoolers, use increased from 1.5 percent to 27.5 percent in that timeframe. That means that by 2019, more than 1 in every 4 high school students said they had used e-cigarettes within the last 30-days from the time of the survey.

I really hope that there are criminal prosecutions int he future, but I doubt it.

They will just pay some fines, and it will be considered a cost of doing business.

Nice that Someone Noticed

It’s a racket:  Publishers throw a few bucks at a professor, who requires the book for his class, and ka-ching:

As the semester ends, instructors at universities and community colleges around the country will begin placing their orders for next year’s textbooks. But not all professors will pay enough attention to something that students complain about: the outlandish prices of the books we assign. Having grown at many times the rate of inflation, the cost of a leading economics book can be over $250; a law school casebook plus supplement can cost $277. Adding to such prices is the dubious trend of requiring students to obtain digital access codes, averaging $100, to complete homework assignments.


The root problem is that it is just too easy for us, the professors, to spend other people’s money. Just like doctors who prescribe expensive medicine, we don’t feel the pain of buying a $211 book of uneven quality and no real use when the course is finished, or a digital access code that costs $100 and is designed at least in part to disable the used-book market. The fact that professors choose and students buy destroys whatever power a competitive market might have to keep prices lower. That, and a touch of greed — the author of one successful book has earned an estimated $42 million in royalties — is why textbook prices have increased over 1,000 percent since the 1970s.


Teaching is a profession with its own ethical duties; students are both our charges and a captive market. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with assigning an expensive book if it is really worth the money and the alternatives are inadequate. (It helps if there’s a good used or rental market). But we at least owe our students the time to make sure we aren’t just absent-mindedly ripping them off.


Across the economy, over the last few years, there’s been a backlash against exploitative pricing, headlined by the condemnation of figures like Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Textbook authors and publishers may not be selling necessary medicines, but the practice of exploiting market power to its fullest raises similar ethical questions. The old-fashioned phrase is “price gouging,” and we shouldn’t be a part of it.

I’ve felt this way since I was a college student.

What a F%$#ing Candy Ass

A journalist attempted to ask Boris Johnson some questions, and the Tory candidate for PM hid in a refrigerator to get away from him:

Boris Johnson retreated into a fridge as he sought to avoid a TV interview, amid rattled nerves at CCHQ over a narrowing in the opinion polls.

The prime minister was ambushed by the Good Morning Britain producer, Jonathan Swain, during a pre-dawn visit to Modern Milkman, a business in the Tory-held constituency of Pudsey, in Yorkshire.

When Swain first approached Johnson, he asked: “Morning prime minister, would you come on Good Morning Britain, prime minister?” Johnson’s aide can be heard mouthing “oh for f%$#’s sake” in response.

The show’s hosts, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, appeared shocked by the aide’s reaction. Swain goes on to say: “I’ve just had a reaction from one of the minders. OK, no need to push, thank you very much,” with Reid exclaiming: “The look on his face, that minder.” The aide was then named on air as the PM’s press secretary, Rob Oxley.

When Swain presses the prime minister, stating he was live on the show, Johnson replied “I’ll be with you in a second” and walked off, before Piers exclaims “he’s gone into the fridge”. Johnson walks inside a fridge stacked with milk bottles with his aides. One person can be heard saying: “It’s a bunker.”

Conservative sources subsequently insisted that Johnson was “categorically not hiding” in the fridge, from which Johnson emerged carrying a crate of milk bottles – but instead his aides were taking a moment to prep the PM for a separate, pre-agreed interview.


Tory aides have closely controlled the PM’s appearances since a chaotic day on Monday. Johnson pocketed a journalist’s phone during a TV interview rather than look at a picture of a four-year-old boy asleep on the floor at a Leeds hospital.

I’m not a big fan of Winston Churchill, but I think that I can conclusively state that BoJo is the least Churchillian person in the whole of the UK, and I am including Gary Glitter in that set.

Who Lives in a Politburo Under the Sea?

Patrick Starfish, it appears:

A Soviet-era star on the tower in the city of Voronezh has been given ‘Patrick’ styling, adding a touch of Bikini Bottom to the place. Would the overweight pink starfish ever have thought of traveling so far?

While social media users were quite amused with the stunt that surfaced online Thursday evening, Voronezh police were not so entertained. Now the fans of the US animated series – if found – could face 15 days in detention.


A poll under the photo in one of Voronezh online communities showed that most people – around 60 percent – found the stunt funny, while 39 percent say that it was an act of vandalism that shouldn’t go unpunished.

This is a beautiful prank.

Te Stooped! It Burnz Us!!!!

Just when you thought that the whole Russiagate meme could not get any more insane on MSNBC, they a guest on the show insisted that the Soviets may have been grooming Trump since 1977, when he married Ivana.

Of course, Ivana is not Russia of Soviet, but, to quote Mason Williams, “Who needs truth if it is dull.”

MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance, long one of the network’s loudest voices when it comes to pushing Russiagate conspiracies, claimed Tuesday morning that President Donald Trump is a Russian asset who was compromised “as early as 1977” via his first marriage to Czech-born Ivana Trump.


Having established that he was aware that Russia was looking to interfere in the election at an early stage, Nance then dove headfirst into conspiratorial waters about Trump.


“They had ten years of collection and then they brought him to Moscow for what he wanted, which is Trump Tower,” Nance added. “But from that moment on, an enormous dossier of information was collected on him and more importantly, how to exploit him and his simple exploit—as we call it in the intelligence community—and he is avaricious to a fault. He wants money, they now own him. Modern Russia, with a former KGB director as president, they know how to exploit people, they know how to manipulate people, and they know how to buy people.”


According to Nance, “supervillain” Putin “took all the files of everyone he had ever flipped” during his Soviet days and “brought that into the business world when it became modern Russia,” claiming it was around 2014 they decided to move Trump from “useful idiot” to an “unwitting asset, where he’s being used and he doesn’t know it.”

Seriously, I Malcolm Nance is a walking avatar of Sinclair Lewis’ observation that, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

Seriously this is f%$#ed up and sh%$.

Clearly this means that the Village People were Soviet targets as well:  They came to prominence at around the same time, and they had access to military facilities:

You Have to Love the Tote Bag Set

In news that should surprise no one, Philadelphia public radio station WHYY is declaring jihad on its employees unionization attempts, because solidarity with the working man is important, unless it inconveniences them personally:

A group of workers at the public media station WHYY last week delivered a petition to management declaring their intent to unionize with SAG-AFTRA.

The workers, who said they were unionizing to turn the station into a place where they could build their careers “without sacrificing [their] well-being,” had support from more than 80% of the nearly 100-person proposed bargaining unit — well over the simple majority needed to win a formal union election — and asked management to voluntarily recognize the union, rather than requiring it to go through a National Labor Relations Board election.

WHYY has not voluntarily recognized the union.


Generally, when workers announce their intent to unionize, it’s standard practice for employers to attempt to dissuade workers from voting for the union. As management-side lawyer Rick Grimaldi of Fisher Phillips put it, the employer uses the time before the NLRB election to “give employees the other side of the story.” Employers usually call this a period to educate their workers on the advantages and disadvantages of a union. Sometimes, though, employers agree to neutrality, promising not to carry out an anti-union campaign.

WHYY said in a statement, “WHYY is not anti-union nor have we made any attempts to dissuade workers from voting for the union.”

Station spokesperson Art Ellis confirmed it has retained Duane Morris attorney James Redeker, who has been meeting with managers and senior management to brief them on “all the legal aspects of NLRB proceedings.” Redeker’s website says he has “engineered numerous successful counter-organizational campaigns for clients … and conducted supervisory training throughout the country with respect to union avoidance.”

So, the station management is going to make it tough, and they have hired a union buster lawyer, because they are a bunch of people who think that running a humane workplace is beneath them.

I guess that it distracts them from being “Woke”.

This is literally every stereotype of the NPR type promulgated by right wing talk radio.

So Not a Surprise

In an acknowledgement of reality, a federal court has ruled that the FCC ignored reality in order to relax media ownership rules:

The FCC’s multi-year effort to kill media consolidation rules at the behest of giants like Sinclair Broadcasting has been rejected by the courts, who ruled the agency failed to seriously consider the negative impact unchecked media monopolies have on the public at large.

In a 2-1 new ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit forced the FCC to go back to the drawing board in its quest to make life easier for media giants, arguing the agency “did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities.”


The court today agreed, stating that FCC analysis justifying its decision was “so insubstantial that it would receive a failing grade in any introductory statistics class.”

I’m shocked that Ajit Pai shirk his moral and statute obligations in this manner……….NOT.

I Have Changed My Mind on the Remake of The Princess Bride

I would absolutely watch a princess bride remake IF and only if it was a muppets remake and Andre the Giant was played by Sweetums. pic.twitter.com/fVyx0K90Oc

— Ed. Condon (@canonlawyered) September 21, 2019


I would not object to a Muppet remake of The Princess Bride.

If it were properly done, and yes that would include Sweetums, it could be an interesting and entertaining take on a classic.

I Am so Stoked about This

We now have reports that Gary Larson’s THE FAR SIDE Cartoon may be coming back in some form:

Gary Larson said goodbye to fans and the absurdist universe of The Far Side with his final comic on January 1, 1995, and since then the real world has done everything it can to live up to the inanity of his iconic comic strip. Unfortunately, the foolishness of 2019 isn’t nearly as enjoyable as sentient chickens and oversized suburban bugs. Now, the 21st century might be getting both of those creatures—along with aliens, cavemen, clever cows, and women with beehive hairdos—because for the first time in almost two decades, the cartoon’s official webpage has been updated. And unless this joke is on all of us, The Far Side will soon be returning.

After sitting dormant since 1999, The Far Side‘s webpage was updated suddenly and without warning (which we first learned about at The Daily Cartoonist). It features a new cartoon of an explorer using a blowtorch to melt some of the strip’s most iconic characters from a large block of ice. Below it reads, “Uncommon, unreal, and (soon-to-be) unfrozen. A new online era of The Far Side is coming!” Since the cartoon itself is signed by Larson, it certainly appears he will be returning with all new comics for the first time in almost 25 years.

For the love of God, please make this true.

Live (Drunk) Blogging the Debates

10:48 pm:
Debate over, not listening to the talking heads.

I am not drunk enough.

10:44 pm:
Cory Booker says that, “The election is not a referendum on Donald Trump, it is a referendum on us.”

Very eloquent, and also a good strategy.

Julian Castro just used the southernism, “Y’all.” It did not sound authentic.

10:39 pm:
Checking Twitter, and I think that the heckle was, “3 million departed.”

They should have done this when immigration had been the subject. Also, they should ENUNCIATE.

Cory Booker just said “Dagnabit”.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?  Take a drink.

10:33 pm:
Questions about resilience, and what your worst personal failure was.

Biden just got heckled. I cannot make out what is being said.

He’s asked about professional setbacks, and he mentioned his wife and daughter’s deaths in an auto accident, and his son’s death of cancer.

Warren talks about getting fired as a teacher because she is pregnant. Humble beginnings, drink by the Taibbi rules.

Sanders talks about his electoral failures before he becomes mayor of Burlington.

10:26 pm:
Ad break.
Alzheimers society advertising a lot too, as is some sort of student loan scam called Sofi, which sounds like a dotcom.

10:21 pm:
Julian Castro notes the documented fact that charter schools do not perform better than conventional public schools, and notes that they need more transparency and accountability.

Cory Booker comes out with a pro charter patter, and then goes back to environmental racism, which he has at least twice before.

10:18 pm:
Lindsay Davis calls out Biden’s racist statements in the 1970s.

Biden sputters word salad.

This format, and 10 people on stage, is exhausting.

10:10 pm:
Yang is a big backer of charter schools. F%$# that.

Buttigeig: Step 1 is to appoint a secretary of education who actually supports public education.

Lindsay Davis asks Warren if she is “in bed” with teachers unions. Lindsay Davis can go Cheney herself.

Warren mentions that she was a public school teacher. Good for her. (optional drink taken)

Sanders finally gets called on. Talks up his debt forgiveness.

10:06 pm:
Anthropogenic climate change: Moderate Jorge Ramos seems to be hostile to the idea of global warming.

Sanders is being studiously ignored on this question.

Andrew Yange is talking up “Democracy Dollars”. There is someone who did too much LDS in the 1960s. When does he start swimming with humpback whales?

9:53 pm:
Sanders to Biden: I never believed what Cheney and Bush said. Righteous!!! Drink, because it was epic.

9:48 pm:
Afghanistan. How the F%$# did we get out?

Biden now disavows the AUMF that allowed Bush to invade Iraq.

He claims that he’s a critic of the Iraq war. Bullsh%$.

9:42 pm:
Sanders makes a cogent statement about how “Free Trade” is really about labor arbitrage.

Biden cries, “Think of the intellectual property.” Not incoherent, but morally bankrupt.

Cory Booker: “I’m the only person on stage who finds Trudeau’s hair very menacing but they’re not a national security threat.” I laughed, and I am definitely got a buzz on.

Win from Taibbi:

I second this. DRINK if you think Kamala had a warmup edible tonight. https://t.co/C8jCAAnFVh

— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) September 13, 2019

Harris sounds seriously off.

9:36 pm:
Trade policy questions, and the responses from everyone is fuzzy.

No one wants to come out against tariffs, so they are criticizing Trump’s incoherence.

Harris is really sounding awful.

9:26 pm:
Ad break. Notable ads:
The New York Times is advertising the sh%$ out of the debates.
I am depressingly sober. It’s what happens when I drink something with the alcohol content of a strong wine.

9:16 pm:
Beto speaks Spanish, Taibbi rules, drink.

9:11 pm:
Biden is challenged about Obama being deporter-in-chief. Good.

9:05 pm:
If Booker mentions that he moved to Newark one more time, I think that I am going to scream.

Warren says that Republican opposition to gun control is corruption. Warren, corruption, drink.

8:57 pm:
Kamala Harris was poorly prepped for this debate. She is sounding like an airhead, and she is not an airhead.

I think that someone convinced her that she needed to be more “Feminine” and it was a bad move.

Beto, “Hell yes, we are going to take your AR-15.” Swear word, drink.

O’Rourke sounds remarkably animated and sincere, because, IIRC, he is animated and sincere about the ammosexual threat.

Klobuchar called out McConnell. Drink.

8:49 pm:
Best question so far, a challenge to Kamala Harris about how she opposed law enforcement accountability, marijuana legalization, etc., as a prosecutor.

A close second is a question to Klobuchar over her awful record as a prosecutor.

8:45 pm:
Quote of the night so far, Beto O’Rourke: “We have a white supremacist in the White House, and he constitutes a mortal threat.”

I am impressed that O’Rourke is not doing his pre-El Paso shooting unity bullsh%$.

8:42 pm:
Andrew Yang, “I’m Asian, so I know a lot of doctors.” Sounds like Joe Biden stupid sh%$. (Drink)

8:38 pm:
So much sucking up to Barack Obama when discussing healthcare.

Julian Castro just said to Biden, “Did you just forget what you said 2 minutes ago?” Burn! (Drink)

8:33 pm:
Kamala Harris sure picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue. Complete word salad and invoking John f$#@ing McCain? (Drink)

8:30 pm:
Butgigeig says, “Damn,” quoting Sanders, and sounds completely uncomfortable doing so. Awkward, take a shot.

8:26 pm:
Elizabeth Warren says that she’s never met anyone who loves their insurance company. Too true. (No drink)

Sanders notes that Americans pay twice as much as everyone else in the world, Biden interrupted, “This is America.” Stupid sh%$ from Biden. Take a shot.

8:22 pm:
Stephanopoulos whines to Warren and Sanders about taxes, and refuses to consider the savings of single payer.

Sanders says damn. Take a shot.

8:18 pm:
Stephanopolous serves up a big slow one over the center of the plate for Biden, basically asking if Warren and Sanders are icky socialists.  Take a shot.

8:12 pm:
Sanders sounds a bit hoarse in his opening statement.

8:06 pm:
Castro’s opening statement had both Spanish and a sports reference.  2 Shots.

Yang just announced that his campaign will give 10 people $1000.00/month for a year.  Literally a lottery offer onin his opening statement.  Definitely a shot.

We are finally down enough candidates that they will all be on one stage, so I guess that I have to live blog this, so I will be drinking, because, forget it Jake, it’s ABC.

It’s only the primaries, so I’m doing Buttershots, Butterscotch liquor that is only 15% ABV.

I will be playing a drinking game based loosely on Matt Taibbi’s 3rd debate drinking game.

I will be posting at the top, with each update having a time in H:HMM pm format.

(On edit)
Watching on ABC and have some comments about ads.

Mom! Comcast is Being Comcast Again!

Comcast and several TV network owners have sued the state of Maine to stop a law that requires cable companies to offer à la carte access to TV channels. The complaint in US District Court in Maine was filed Friday by Comcast, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal, A&E Television Networks, C-Span, CBS Corp., Discovery, Disney, Fox Cable Network Services, New England Sports Network, and Viacom.

The companies claim the Maine law—titled “An Act To Expand Options for Consumers of Cable Television in Purchasing Individual Channels and Programs”—is preempted by the First Amendment and federal law. The Maine law is scheduled to take effect on September 19 and says that “a cable system operator shall offer subscribers the option of purchasing access to cable channels, or programs on cable channels, individually.” The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced.

With cable executives losing their sh%$ over the impact of cord cutters, one would think that a law which would improve both customer service and reduce the death grip that the various media companies have over their consumer offerings, one would think that they support this sort of equalizer.

Unfortunately, Comcast knows only how to f%$# their customers.

Not Feeling the Pain Here, Peter Parker is Free Now

As you may, or may not, be aware, Spider-Man’s movie rights are owned by Sony, while much of the rest of the Marvel universe is owned by the Rodent Borg, aka Disney.

There has been some coordination between the two studios to sync the characters to fit into the Marvel universe, but now, some sort of corporate dispute will cleave the two apart.

Some people are losing their sh%$, but I think that this would be a good thing.

Spider-Man has always been one of the most solitary of super-heroes out of marvel, and unlike the normal run of Marvel spandex clad warriors, more of a working-class bloke from Queens.

The occasional cross over is one thing, but his playing Skywalker to Tony Stark’s Yoda has never rung true to me.

I really do like Tom Holland’s Spider-Man’s interpretation of the role too:

Interviews with the filmmakers behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe almost always get around to what seems to be the studio’s core creative ethos: paint yourself into a corner, then find a creative way to get out of it. That mission statement inspired the snap in Avengers: Infinity War and the big secret-identity reveal that ends Spider-Man: Far From Home. And while creative inspiration probably wasn’t at the top of anyone’s mind during the business impasse that reportedly dissolved the partnership between Sony (which owns the current film rights to Spider-Man and his rogues’ gallery) and the Disney-owned Marvel Studios, that unexpected split could inadvertently inspire Sony to adopt exactly the sort of creative problem-solving that has fueled some of the MCU’s greatest moments.

First things first: No, this doesn’t mean we’re in for another Spider-Man reboot. According to current reports, Sony is planning to make more Spider-Man films starring Tom Holland, with conflicting reports saying that he’s currently contracted for either one or two more solo films. The only difference is that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige won’t produce those films. The deal will also likely prevent Holland’s Spider-Man from appearing in future MCU movies, although that aspect seems to be slightly more in flux. (It’s also possible this whole deal could change, especially as both companies examine the public reaction to their confrontation. Entertainment Weekly reports that negotiations are still ongoing.)

I’m for letting the high-schooler from Queens stay a high-schooler  from Queens.

Not a Surprise

Former Google staffer Kevin Cernekee, whose firing has been held up as a victim of Silicon Valley’s liberal bias, is actually a supporter of Richard Spencer and other white supremacists.

So, this guy is not just a conservative, or even a contrarian, he’s a white supremacist, and a supporter of racist violence, which is pretty much a textbook definition of a clear and present danger in the workplace:

When we recently wrote about the myth of anti-conservative bias at the various internet platforms, we got a lot of angry responses from people who insist (very loudly, often with lots of insults and anger, but rarely with any facts or data) that we’re full of shit. We’d be open to believing it if there was any actual support for these claims. But none is ever forthcoming. Indeed, amusingly, some people pointed out that a recent WSJ article about an alleged fired “conservative” engineer at Google, described as a “whistleblower,” was more “proof” that the company has it in for conservatives. Tucker Carlson even had the engineer, Kevin Cernekee, on his show last week to continue to feed the narrative.


However, as we’ve pointed out concerning most of the “conservatives” who have had content removed or been banned from social media platforms (as is true in similar situations with liberals and other non-conservatives) there is almost always more to the story — and that “more” is often that these people are not banned or fired or otherwise held back because of their general political views, but because of something much worse. And, in the case of Cernekee, people finally realized that maybe it wasn’t that he was a conservative, but that he wanted to fundraise in support of one of the US’s most well known white supremacists, Richard Spencer.


But, yeah, the guy who Trump is holding up as proof that there’s anti-conservative bias at Google is maybe not the best messenger if you’re trying to convince the world that “conservatism” is not the same thing as “white nationalism.” Oh, and it gets worse. The Daily Caller article shows that, despite Cernekee claiming in the WSJ that he was a “mainstream Republican” who “disagrees” with white supremacy, within an internal Google listserve, Cernekee suggested that racist skinheads consider rebranding:


Meanwhile, another “conservative” engineer who was also fired from Google, Mike Wacker, has written a barnstormer of a blog post detailing the fairly typical trollish behavior by Cernekee. It’s pretty damning:

So not surprised.

This story always had a hinky smell to it.