Chaotic Stupid

The Socialist Evolution of Bernie Sanders - WSJ

So the latest news story is “RUSSIAN HAX0RZ” are apparently trying to favor Bernie Sanders in the current election.

Hi. Have we met? I’m Scott. I’m a dork. I’m actually a super big dork in that I follow politics for fun, back when it didn’t matter. It was a great time, that window. Weren’t the 1990s FUCKING AWESOME? Yeah, that magic moment. ANYWAY. Russia. Bernie. Trump.

STOP.

Russia is always going to Russia. Russia is even more of a wreck than America. Americans may not believe this because they know how much of a wreck America is, where roads are falling apart, bridges are collapsing, airports are nightmares, and literally everything is terrible if you’re not a billionaire getting concierge service to take you away from the maddening hordes trying to get home after yet another fucking useless business trip. America am I right?

Friends, Russia is WORSE.

The elections are a pre-ordained joke (it’s called “managed democracy”, look it up if you’re curious – the author was a big Tupac fan who is currently very angsty he’s stuck in a world he helped make and is writing novels about a very intelligent government functionary trapped in a bureaucracy. I AM MAKING NONE OF THIS UP. I CANNOT HOPE TO COMPETE WITH REALITY.) and pretty much any Russian with aspirations of greatness at this point has fled the country for points west (us) east (china) or south (africa, oh you screwed up again, didn’t you). Everyone left in Russia is either very cranky at being stuck, very patriotically fascist at wanting to fuck over someone/anyone to make themselves feel better (these are usually the guys siphoned into the pro-Russian Ukraine militias that Ukraine has to deal with) or just gets through every day because it is what it is (this is the default).

So I explain all this to you. This sad, misbegotten, collection of very depressed and cynical people… that is the horrible threat to our elections.

You see now why it’s so laughable. Why you should laugh. Why laughter is the only response.

Of course Russia is spending $300 (literally, it’s like that much) on Facebook ads. Of course they’re trying to spike the elections so Trump gets re-elected (because he’s a raging trash fire that keeps America from doing anything rational).

Of course they’re going to pipe up for Bernie (because Sanders is a threat to the Democrat establishment)

Let’s talk D&D Alignments. Because we’re all gamers and it’s literally the best way to describe what Russia is doing.

Russia is Chaotic Stupid.

It’s that guy who blows every game session because it has to be ALL ABOUT HIM and his deep narrative and why don’t you see his pain.

Stop worrying about that guy.

Stop worrying about Russia.

(well, we still kind of have to. Remnants of cold war, ICBMs pointed at us that would wipe out life on the planet, that kind of thing. We should work on fixing that.)

Also, if you want to learn more about Russia’s being chaotic stupid, read this book.

Another Debate Recap

Democrats' feisty debate reaches nearly 20 million viewers | WJHL |  Tri-Cities News & Weather

Bloomberg: I’m wondering if Bloomberg isn’t playing 6 dimensional chess here, and intentionally threw the debate. He’s NOT an idiot, but he certainly looked idiotic. Warren’s evisceration of him may well be terminal for his candidacy, and he had to have expected it to happen. Yet he literally admitted to creating a hostile workplace as an ‘answer’. “So I told a few jokes.” He KNOWS that is not an acceptable answer.

So he may have spiked this debate to send his expectations into the toilet. His team knows he does not have a great presence or tons of charisma (his ads almost always do not feature him personally, at all). And most importantly – he’s not even on the ballot in the next 2 primary states. He may be gambling on losing literally nothing except ‘narrative’ now, and then turn in an actually competent debate performance next week and blow everyone away.

It sounds plausible, I suppose. It’s also a dumb idea. I can’t see him surviving Warren’s assault on his record as an employer, period. That was fatal. His candidacy is, if not over, very seriously on the ropes.

Warren:

o/~ let the bodies hit the floor o/~
o/~ let the bodies hit the floor o/~

Warren saved her candidacy – even if she only comes in 4th in Nevada, it can be explained away via early voting. She turned in easily the most impressive debate performance in living memory, calmly eviscerating everyone on stage, even Klobuchar (whom she later threw a lifeline to, magnanimously, mostly to shiv Pete in the back yet again.) The only critique I’d have is that she didn’t go after Bernie Sanders nearly enough – he is the front runner AND they share much of the same target audience. If Sanders wins the election, she has her pick of any seat in the cabinet from Vice President on down.

Sanders: was Bernie Sanders. Which is good, because he was the front runner coming in and needed to turn in a focused and consistent performance. Which he did. He even had a few standout moments, such as responding to Chuck Todd’s attempted gotcha moment of invoking a poll about how people feel about a candidate who espouses “socialism” with “well, who won that poll, Chuck?” That showed excellent debate prep and knowledge of possible weaknesses he would be hit on. And he survived Elizabeth Warren’s transformation into Kali, the Destroyer of Candidacies. Sanders remains the front runner, will almost certainly win Nevada on Saturday and stands a good chance of winning South Carolina outright and ending at least 2 candidacies (Biden and Klobuchar).

Buttigieg: Did his best to appear presidential, largely succeeded. Had one of the best lines of the night when he (correctly) pointed out that after Super Tuesday, the only two candidates left standing, Sanders (still technically not a Democrat) and Bloomberg (a registered Republican until very recently) aren’t “actually Democrats”. The problem with this is the same problem with Buttigieg’s candidacy – it isn’t 1998 any more, and not being part of the establishment political system is seen by many as a bonus, not a liability. He also managed to irritate Amy Klobuchar into spitting out angrily “Not everyone can be perfect like you, Pete”, which is probably going into his next campaign ad.

Biden: Is less and less of a factor and is not happy about it. He was very “ANGRY GRAMPA” all debate, shouting demanding his fair share of speaking time only to ramble aimlessly during it. He did help to knife Bloomberg a few times and attempted a few stabs at Sanders but they were easily parried. Biden’s candidacy is very close to being done and he pretty clearly knows it.

Klobuchar: Clearly not in the same league as anyone on stage (including Buttigieg, to her obvious burning hatred) and it shows. Her answers were shopworn and tedious, and the obviously fake “Minnesota nice” act finally broke hard under Buttigieg’s needling. Her boost from her unexpected showing in Iowa is about done.

Overall, Warren and Bloomberg are going to see the most change from this – one gets a very large gust of wind into their sails, and the other is currently wondering if it’s worth it to stay in the race. Bloomberg will remain in until Super Tuesday, obviously, but if his delegate haul is disappointing from that, I’d expect him to bow out gracefully.

He Is The Law In Megadistrict Columbia

I am the law!”—Judge Dredd (1995) and Dredd (2012) | Tor.com

Our administration’s assault on everything is not news. It’s how Trump works – and they’ve admitted it. Get everyone mad about something, and you’ll flood out how much anyone can keep track. Hell, I do this for fun and I still can’t keep up.

But Trump’s assault on our system of justice is different. He is literally posturing as Judge Dredd. He IS the law in Megacity One.

Note: Megacity One was not a great place to live. It was an authoritarian society. Much like what Trump would like – he cannot put it into words, because from all evidence, he has literally never read a book in his entire life. But he very much thinks that as President, he can dictate who is blessed and who is punished. He is the law.

The danger is that an apparatus to support his delusion is being supported by actually capable people who can make this happen. We are – this is not hyperbole, this is not exaggeration, this is not heavy breathing – in danger of losing our free society.

Of course, it won’t matter, everyone says to themselves, because Trump obviously will be a private citizen in a year. Literally anyone could run against him and win, right? Just look at the polls. (they said the same thing 4 years ago) There’s no way this can continue.

But it could. It may. There is already a robust infrastructure for a minority to hold the levers of government – thanks to how well the Republicans have powergamed the electoral college and their skill at voter suppression. It is easy to envision a 2020 election where Trump loses the popular vote by 10 million – and still wins, by the rules. (His last margin in crucial electoral college states would comfortably fit inside one football stadium.)

If Trump is re-elected, I see it as likely it will be literally the last election that is seriously contested. Oh sure, we’ll have “elections”. With whatever Trump family member is running, vs. a domesticated ‘opposition’ that is entirely made for TV cameras (Russia already refined this model – they term it “managed democracy”) and there is no longer any choice in the matter. We will continue to be entranced by Trumps until somehow mysteriously we can no longer breathe because the climate has gone into the toilet and it’s suddenly 115 degrees in the shade. At this point everyone will point fingers at each other, because no one could have ever predicted this!

This is to say that those of you saying Bloomberg is as bad as Trump are simply wrong. No, I don’t support Bloomberg in the primary, at all. He is an oligarch in the Russian model (actually even worse – Russian oligarchs usually find cutout politicians to hide behind) who literally wants to buy an election. He would literally be the worst person the Democrats could nominate.

And the worst person the Democrats could nominate would be infinitely better than another 4 years of Trump destroying our constitutional republic because he’s too fucking stupid to ever read a single briefing paper and exists as a reality TV star manipulated by lobbyists trying to suck out as much money out of the economy as quickly as possible before everything goes to hell.

Because if the Republicans continue in power, trust me. Everything will go to hell.

Hell is very warm, if you were curious.

The Ship Is Listing to Starboard, Says Fleeing Rat

John Kelly Finally Lets Loose on Trump

John Kelly Finally Lets Loose On Trump – The Atlantic

Sorry, color me unimpressed.

He joined the Trump administration willingly because of their policy against migration (*any* migration, not merely illegal); his problems with Trump were not ideological, they were merely systemic.

He also humiliated his enemies in sometimes scatological terms (such as ensuring everyone knew Tillerson was fired while suffering from a bout of diarrhea), defended an aide guilty of domestic abuse through repeatedly lying and demanding everyone else who worked for him do the same, and occasionally dealt with workplace stress by throwing people against a wall (for which the Secret Service had to intervene). And of course, he waited to make any comment about the impeachment until well after it was past.

But guys, he’s very concerned about North Korea, so let’s not judge him too harshly in the history books!

It is impossible to successfully make deals with the devil. This is just a point on that curve.

Iowa Caucus: What Could Go Wrong?

Watch company Shinola gets 2020 candidate Andrew Yang's endorsement

Listened to a bit of pre-Iowa political talk shows while stuck in traffic (hint: infrastructure in the US sucks, get on that, candidates):

Chris Matthews is UTTERLY TERRIFIED of a Sanders nomination and was just blithering random sentence fragments about Marxism that other hosts tried vainly to interpret. This probably means Sanders is winning in a rout tonight. Basically the question is who gets the 2nd and 3rd place tickets out (my guess is Warren and Buttigieg, the Biden campaign continues to melt down, and Klobuchar quits and doesn’t endorse anyone because that “Minnesota nice” act is just that)

Andrew Yang had the line of the morning, when, completely deadpan, he answered a question about supporting the eventual nominee with “Well, I donated to the Sanders campaign in the 2016 primaries and then later voted for Hillary Clinton in the general election because I’m pro-civilization.”