More gruel
Link Roundup, 1/19/2017

Link Roundup, 1/19/2017

From Scribd: Rick Perry faces his confirmation hearing today for the role of Energy Secretary. This is probably the single brainiest role in the federal government, with responsibility for the nuclear arsenal and leadership of our most elite, secretive national labs. Take a look at his college transcript.

From The New York Times: A profile of a soulless young fake news entrepreneur.

From the Niskanen Center: A look at the declining power of political parties and the impact on the 2016 election.

From Bloomberg: 2016 was the hottest year on record, just like the two previous years.

From The Verge: Robots are about to start food delivery.


  1. OH hey look the rest of the world, being rational, are moving on and reorganizing their own and new trade blocks since the US can’t be trusted:

    OH hey look the Republicans are managing to be anti-science BY being anti-abortion:

    OH hey look, nobody wins with deep state conflict:

    This was literally the first three articles in this week’s Bloomberg BusinessWeek. It’s just gonna be this ongoing until, you know, whenever.

    1. Trump will have two major achievements for his inauguration: He has commanded that the military fly 20 plans overhead…your tax dollars at work, folks!

      And, Trump is positively guaranteed to have the “most” bikers ever at a presidential election. A “huge” number………

      1. I am sure it was not coincidental that Trump made a speech at the Lincoln Memorial. What a contrast from the stirring, honest words of MLK at this very site: “The president-elect delivered a brief speech from the Lincoln Memorial, close to the spot where in 1963 Martin Luther King Jr declared, “I have a dream.” Trump told the largely white crowd: “You’re not forgotten any more.”

        He will be sworn in on a bible given to him by his mother in 1955….I hope they zoom in on this book with its unmarked pages and stiff binding that I would be willing to bet has rarely if ever been opened.

        And this is as close to the inauguration as I’ve come and we have watched every Clint Eastwood western he ever made (-; Now, that’s theater!

    1. At least it appears India has recognized the changing market environment and is moving swiftly to morph their dominant position by changing as necessary. When I make a phone call for technical assistance of practically any kind, it is very difficult to pierce the pre-programmed options. The same is true with most on line orders…(as I think Tutta acknowledged some time back). If you are able to break through and speak with a real person, it is a real hit or miss proposition.

      I understand the point here is industry applications, but these IT changes are already impacting our private lives.

  2. Is there any chance Perry will just be hands off and let the bureaucrats run things? I don’t even mind if he makes a bunch of speeches about whatever (“A nuclear bomb is a series of tubes!”)

    For those of you from Texas, how was he as governor? Forget about intelligent and thoughtful. At this point I’m just praying for an empty suit.

      1. It apparently doesn’t matter that most of Trump’s nominees lack any indepth knowledge of their appointive divisions. The litmus test instead is Trump loyalty, adherence to the Heritage Foundation platform, and personal wealth.

    1. I think Perry is “savy” and has good political instincts, but he’s just not intelligent. Of course, he was fortunate to have a majority Republican legislature his entire time as governor, including very effective, intelligent and moderate House leader, Republican Joe Strauss, who I admire. In my opinion, without Strauss as a balancing force, the hard right in TX would have been even more outlandish than they have – which is saying a lot. I admit to a great deal of personal disdain for the way politics functions here.

  3. Last night I listened to several Trump supporters from Ohio interviewed on BBC Radio about their economic plight, and how they appreciate that Mr. Trump addressed their concerns and didn’t talk down to them, etc. None of them said anything racist or anti-immigrant, and they sound like sincere, earnest, good people who’ve simply been going through hard times, and I can’t really can’t fault them for voting for what they truly believe is in their best interests. What I can’t get past is how they can just dismiss Mr. Trump’s unstable nature and angry rhetoric. At least one person who was interviewed was turned off by Mr. Trump’s rhetoric despite all his economic promises and voted for Mrs. Clinton.

    My point is that no matter how much I can’t stand Mr. Trump, I don’t feel the same anger toward his supporters.

    1. EJ

      One of the saddest things in the world is that many people can come across as perfectly decent humans beings, whilst holding horrific views. I’ve met genuine old-school Nazis who were extremely pleasant to me and could converse wittily and charmingly – although they may not have done so had I not been a straight White European from a Christian background. Similarly, many racists can be very personable to those who don’t belong to groups they dehumanise, many misogynists are perfectly charming if you’re male, and many homophobes are entirely likeable as long as they don’t know that you’re gay. If only the monsters were entirely monstrous then we could hate them, but as it is they’re no less human than we are; and unlike them, hating other humans isn’t something I can do.

      At the same time, this does not excuse their actions. A pleasant racist with good reason is still a racist, after all. Going through tough times doesn’t excuse anyone either: lots of Black and Hispanic people have been going through the same tough times and managed not to vote for Trump.

      1. There is racism, misogyny, and homophobia within minority groups as well, and as individuals, none of us is perfect.

        I will not allow the future president of the United States to create divisiveness or hatred within my inner circle, nor within my heart, and as such I extend my hand to supporters of Mr. Trump in a show of peace.

      2. Plus, I don’t think we can assume that all Trump supporters are racist, much less that they would be the equivalent of Nazis who would go so far as to exterminate an entire ethnicity.

        I think it’s entirely possible to be resentful or suspicious of certain groups of people and still be a good person at one’s core.

        I’m Hispanic, and several years back my cousin wanted to marry a Black lady, and his mother was vehemently opposed to it, but I can’t really say that my aunt was a bad person.

      3. Agree with Ej. I think we all need to try to understand why people do what they do, including why people voted for Trump. I believe that many of those people felt that the status quo was untenable, and I have quite a bit of sympathy for that view. But they made a choice. There were other choices; they chose Trump. And they are responsible for what results from that choice. I don’t think it is particularly useful to hate them for that choice, but I won’t forget, either.

      4. I don’t hate either Trump or his supporters. But, I will hold both accountable for their choices, just as you indicated, Creigh. I will not allow Trump supporters to make ugly, non-factual statements or threats to me without responding, but I will make every effort to not initiate or engage. I will also choose my friends and associates more carefully. I don’t have to put myself in a circle that doesn’t share my values, and I won’t.

        It’s time to move on. I am watching anything but the inauguration and plan to focus my efforts on more informed, substantive efforts surrounding issues. I listened to Congressman Kevin Brady intone on NPR today and wished it had been a call in program. There’s plenty to focus on other than DJ Trump that is a much higher use of my time.

      5. Just don’t push them, EJ. They have a very “thin” skin and it doesn’t take much to bring out their ugly side. You may notice that most Republicans, especially those who hew to the religious right (as well as those who have higher political aspirations) live two lives – you can make up your own mind as to the contradiction between those two sides.

      6. EJ: Even minorities vote for whom or what they believe is in their best interests (when they vote).

        I don’t think there are any totally unselfish voters out there, who vote strictly for what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole.

      7. EJ

        You’re a very generous and forgiving person, and I admire that tremendously.

        From what I understand about the developmental psychology of bigotry – which is based on letting my friends in that field rant drunkenly at me about their research – there’s no such thing as “not bigoted.” The human mind is wired in such a way as to automatically divide people into “them” and “us” based on physical characteristics, and to be very ready to ascribe bad things to “them.” We can’t simply choose to have such thoughts or not, and it doesn’t make us bad people. On the other hand we can choose whether we acknowledge, confront and reject these thoughts, and whether we act upon them or not. This is what makes our actions good or bad (to my understanding of the science and the morality, at least.)

        As for minorities voting for their own interests, I’m of the opinion that we should all vote for the interests of minorities and other disadvantaged groups; but as you point out that’s often an uncommon view.

      8. EJ, I think it’s more that I try to be fair, to understand both (or all sides) of an issue, and maybe it backfires on me sometimes, because that often means ascribing good qualities to bad people, and bad qualities to good people, to balance the scale, in the interest of fairness.

      9. Thanks, Turtles, for your wry humor. I think I’m safe in attesting to the goodness of people I’ve actually met in person and known for years, and not just formed my opinions based on online impressions.

    2. Personally, I’m quite incensed with the ones who voted for him BECAUSE he’s an immature asshole bully. As for the ones who voted for him (often reluctantly) IN SPITE OF the fact that he’s an immature asshole bully, with them I feel sadness and disappointment.

      1. My main issue — I don’t understand how anyone would vote for someone who seems mentally unstable. Even if you are totally racist and you voted for him for that reason, he could still change on you from one moment to the next if you make him mad. He is not the most consistent person.

      2. >] My main issue — I don’t understand how anyone would vote for someone who seems mentally unstable. Even if you are totally racist and you voted for him for that reason, he could still change on you from one moment to the next if you make him mad. He is not the most consistent person.

        “BUT HILLARY AND THE E-MAILS…!!!!” sums up everything you need about those darlings’ ‘rationale’.

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