Welcome To My World!

We’ve all had fun over the past several years about the zany acronyms that the US military uses in place of real words as an almost foreign language. And yes, it is entirely possible to have an entire conversation, even a lengthy one, solely in military acronym. One of the more interesting portions of US military subculture is really, really bad powerpoint slides and slide decks. This ranges from just whacky topics for briefings, or rather legitimate topics for briefings that become whacky and surreal because of who built the slides, all the way to just slides that make so little sense I’m not sure anyone can explain them. People’s exhibit A of this last type is this jewel from International Security Assistance Force – Afghanistan:

For the record: I did not make that slide. I have no idea who did, but since it was when GEN McChrystal was running ISAF, it most likely came from LTG Flynn’s shop. And I actually understand all of the stuff on the slide and it still makes my head hurt and is an abomination.

Anyhow, the Internet Archive has gone through and created an online archive for all the worst examples of the genre.

The Internet Archive celebrated its 20th anniversary with a variety of special events and collections, including the cleverly named Military Industrial Powerpoint Complex, an archive of US military bureaucratic slide-decks that are as cringey as they are hideous.

You can celebrate these marvels of the military bureaucratic communications system with a special “battledecks” Powerpoint karaoke event at the Internet Archive in San Francisco on March 6: contestants download a random military powerpoint and present it sight unseen, improvising the accompanying explanation.

If you can’t make it to the event, you can peruse the archive yourself from the comfort of your bunker; or follow Motherboard’s Matthew Gault on his guided tour of offensive, outdated, boring, and weird highlights of the collection.

Here’s the link. Once you’re done reviewing them all you can be awarded your tab:

I haven’t found any of mine yet, or any of my colleagues, but if I do, I’ll do a follow on post so you all can point and laugh.

Open thread!






253 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Tokyokie says:

    When I first glanced at that horrible graphic, I thought, because of the way the colored labels were arranged, it was a map of the Eastern Hemisphere. Maybe it makes sense that way.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Is summary execution still an option?

  4. 4
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I always thought the classic of the genre was the Gettysburg Address.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: That’s not actually the worst slide I’ve seen.

  6. 6
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    If I didn’t know better, I would think that it was a chart showing the interrelationships between characters in War and Peace.

  7. 7
    Tokyokie says:

    Is summary execution still an option?

    @Corner Stone: I wouldn’t think so. You’d probably want to kill the presenter long before he/she reached the summary.

  8. 8
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Tokyokie: The Army has a color coding system for different elements. The US and coalition and partner forces are Blue. The enemy is red. The host country population is green. Etc, etc, etc.

  9. 9
    Mike in NC says:

    I miss those good old days when we joked about being “Powerpoint Rangers”.

  10. 10
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s a classic! But it’s also a spoof. These are real.

  11. 11
    HypersphericalCow says:

    Right after the Snowden dump came out, my favorite reaction was, “The NSA are supposed to be the coolest spooks in the world, with the most high-tech stuff. So why do they have the sh!ttiest looking Powerpoint slides?”

  12. 12
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mike in NC: As an 0-2, I never got dragged into that shit.

  13. 13
    joel hanes says:

    The rules I was taught :

    Every slide has one title, which is an assertion.
    Every slide has five or less sub-assertions, probably as bullet points, each of which supports one aspect of the assertion in the title.
    Every assertion must be a complete sentence.
    Two fonts max on a single slide
    No “effects” : fade in or out, flips, moving text, blink, etc, nor transition effects.
    Do not read your slides. Stand next to the screen, facing your audience, and rephrase for the audience the claims made by the slides.

  14. 14
    No Drought No More says:

    The U.S. army has come a long way since Stephen Watts Kearney took Santa Fe during the late unpleasantness with Mexico. Did I mention I’m reading The Year Of Decision [1846] by Bernard DeVoto?

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tokyokie: Not summarized execution, silly! They load the slide deck, this one is in there, they get the Big Ick. Done and done.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    @joel hanes: What clown college did you attend?

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joel hanes: The deck should be the notes someone would take from the presentation.

  18. 18
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    So much arrow spaghetti in that ISAF PowerPoint brings only the opposite of clarity. Did no one try to make sense of it before showing it?

  19. 19
    Mnemosyne says:

    I create a fair number of Keynote decks, and a few PowerPoint decks when someone doesn’t use Keynote. The presentations are generally of artwork from our museum exhibitions, so they usually get a warm reception.

  20. 20
    The Moar You Know says:

    I would make the argument that you cannot understand the true horror of PowerPoint until you’ve spent a few years dealing with the military.

  21. 21
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @joel hanes:

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joel hanes:

    I use some effects, but I keep them to a minimum. Lots of dissolves between slides — with artwork, no transition at all looks weird and cold.

  23. 23
    lollipopguild says:

    “I want to live a life of danger, I want to be a Powerpoint Ranger!”

  24. 24
    Adria McDowell says:

    ADAM!!! Stop giving me flashbacks!

    The Army has a PowerPoint slide show for every damn thing.

  25. 25
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: I never deployed to Afghanistan, so I have no idea. I prepped for it and wound up at USAWC instead. Made my Mom much happier.

  26. 26
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Adria McDowell: Sorry, forgot to put the trigger warning. I’m sure if I look hard enough through the archive that there’s a slide for that.

  27. 27
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well this sounds like good, wholesome family fun!

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @lollipopguild: Tell my mom, I done my best! Pin my USB upon my chest!

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    FWIW, I think that any PP presentation that doesn’t use the duck smashing a computer with a sledgehammer slide is a failure.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Anybody have any idea what they hell the President is tweeting about? Was there a large march in DC today that no one covered?

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Sorry, I don’t watch Trump TV. No idea.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: he is saying that because Russia instigated both sides somehow he is the winner

  33. 33
  34. 34
    sanjeevs says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Adam – not sure if you covered this already but have you any thoughts on what happened with the US clash with the Russian ‘contractors’ in Syria which supposedly left a few hundred dead. Surprised this didn’t receive more coverage than it did.

  35. 35
    Jeffro says:

    @Jeffro: (meaning, The rally he is referring to was one where Russia’s Internet research agency actually managed to trick Americans from both sides of the spectrum into attending a rally in fighting each other )

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I can see why.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Jeffro says:

    (here’s a link)
    Trump: CNN, MSNBC got scammed into covering Russia-organized rally.

    …which in his mind is an occasion for attacking American news organizations…not sanctioning Russia or anything…

    Stupid Americans! Still falling for the attacks from a hostile foreign power that I love dearly!!
    – American president*

  39. 39
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It is often very, very appropriate and topical.

  40. 40
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That was a good thread. However, there has been a lot of squid ink squirted about what actually happened there since then.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: Well that now makes sense.

  42. 42
    japa21 says:

    @joel hanes: Based on all the presentations I have been to, I estimate those rules, specially the last one, are followed by about 2% of presenters. Violators of the last rule, who feel they have to present exactly what is on each slide, word for word, with nothing else said, deserve a special place in hell.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Charge your damn phone. Don’t leave it to the last minute.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @lamh36:
    I like the first one. Reminds me of my day trying to teach someone how to use a micrometer. We’ll see tomorrow how I did.

  46. 46
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Here’s some good news:

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Not down to the level of a Gorka dissertation graphic, for one.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    The Democrat who just flipped that Kentucky seat Trump won by 49 points? She’s a former teacher who has dedicated her life to public education. Wake up, Dems!

    FRANKFORT, Ky. — At least 28 current and former educators are running for a seat in the Kentucky state legislature.

    28! My God, what do Democrats need to figure it out? Run on public education, state level. Republicans are horrible on the whole issue- it is WIDE open for takers.

    Pick an area- school safety, infrastructure, funding, general hostility to- I don’t know- LEARNING…it is just tailor made for Democrats.

  49. 49
    lamh36 says:

    @maggieNYT
    Follow Follow @maggieNYT
    More
    Jared Kushner is resisting having his interim clearance adjusted, restricting his ability to read the PDB. He’s convinced Kelly was targeting him w the clearance memo, and has criticized Kelly to Trump. W @juliehdavis

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I can do that. Read a micrometer, that is.

    ETA: I could do it at age 10.

  51. 51
    dimmsdale says:

    Adam, I look at that ISAF slide and go “What a b*tch that must have been to lay out.” I’m a little sorry it can’t be embiggisized, it really deserves a close-up look to admire the thought that went into it (I’m serious here). See, once you make the decision that you gotta show every single particle of stuff and connect it to every other single particle of stuff, and have all the meetings needed to hack through “No, that should be over HERE” and “shouldn’t that be brown instead of green” and “Let’s see a version with straight elbow arrows instead of curved arrows” and “Re-do the whole thing in a serif font, it would look more Serious that way”, and “is there room for thumbnail photos of base headquarters?” some poor Adobe jockey has to sit down and make it happen. (that would be me, in one of my current lives.) some of that other linked stuff, though–whoo-EEEE. Our serving men and women deserve MUCH better than ugly powerpoint.

  52. 52
    Ukko says:

    I used to work for a contractor doing DoD research and I actually got in trouble for making attractive and readable slides. The problem was that slides were copied and shared like crazy in the DoD, and my “nice” slides could not be easily dropped into a presentation with the crappy slides.

    That made it harder for my project manager to make use of my slides when doing her work inside the government. So, I had to rewrite everything using that nasry 16 color pallet and use those clunky Visio icons from the Stone Age.

    When in Rome I guess.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: I’ll try to get to a follow up some time this week.

  54. 54
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @sanjeevs: You’re welcome.

  55. 55
    Jeffro says:

    @Kay: co-signed (and extended to basically anyone who serves the public – but agree that teachers make great candidates ;)

  56. 56
    Jager says:

    Having experienced old fashioned Ranger School, I’m trying to imagine what it’s like n Power Point Ranger training..Is the training done in multiple phases, if so how do they keep their decks dry during the swamp phase, do they do the forced march or do they have to do 16 presentations in 3 hours. Do you have to do the sit ups with your computer on your stomach? How about push ups and pull ups? Can you use a GPS program in your computer or do you have to use a compass for land navigation? So many questions, Adam.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic: That is not my phone. I don’t know if that’s Marshall’s or someone else’s.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay:

    My God, what do Democrats need to figure it out? Run on public education, state level.

    Kay, they are doing it. They seem to have it figured out. Hence the wins.

  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: it’s unbelievable. Imagine: the guy could be (LOL) completely innocent of collusion/conspiracy with Russia and then…when presented with the evidence that a hostile foreign power was able to get two groups of Americans fighting with each other here in our own country…he turns on the media that covered the protest?!? Not the hostile foreign power??

    Isn’t that enough? Enough to get any president removed from his duties one way or another??

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jager: You are a Ranger? Respect.

  61. 61
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    If I read what people were saying in the other thread correctly, apparently the Democrat who just got voted in had been voted out in 2016 in favor of a Republican whackjob who ended up committing suicide after being accused of child molestation(!)

    So this seems to be an unusual case of voters saying, Holy shit, we fucked up! Please come back!

  62. 62
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    “Who has more TLAs, DOD or IBM?”

    “TLAs?”

    “Three Letter Acronyms”

  63. 63
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Not putting it on you. Just saying there has been a concerted effort to cloud whatever the hell actually happened there. Did hundreds of RU mercs get killed? Did we give them an easy out as a way to de-escalate? Were they stupid enough to mount an assault on a US supported installation? What in the F actually happened?

  64. 64
    Jeffro says:

    Also I see that Joy Reid is reading BJ…she just shut down a Twitter commenter with “tick tock…”

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: The real sad thing about that is that graphic with the arrows and circles that don’t make any sense is that the reason they don’t make sense is he plagiarized the slide from an American PhD in polisci/IR who was an adjunct fellow at RAND DC. The original slide is from a conference paper about the hyper terrorist typology that this professor and adjunct fellow delivered at the American Political Science Association sometime in the mid 00s. I don’t remember his name. Just that even the whole slide, with all the information, didn’t actually make a lot of sense. I asked a question regarding that issue, pointing out that the central premise made no empirical theoretical sense, etc, etc – as in why do you need a hyper terrorist typology to explain this behavior when we actually have the actual group, al Qaeda, which you’ve identified as the ideal type? Which the author couldn’t answer because he didn’t understand the difference between a conceptual typology and an ideal type. It did cause Harvard’s Bob Nye, who was sitting in front of me to try to stifle a laugh. That’s why I remember the original graphic. I can only guess that the Stoat of the Carpathians had seen the paper somewhere and decided to liberally borrow and then repurpose. Which made it even worse.

  66. 66
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lamh36: and so, Kelly’s desperate toadying to the princeling

    “I will not comment on anybody’s specific security clearance situation or go beyond the memo released last week,” Kelly said in a statement reported by ABC News.
    “As I told Jared days ago, I have full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio including overseeing our Israeli-Palestinian peace effort and serving as an integral part of our relationship with Mexico,” Kelly added.
    “Everyone in the White House is grateful for these valuable contributions to furthering the President’s agenda. There is no truth to any suggestion otherwise.”

  67. 67
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    You have me beat by 2 yrs. Can you still read one?
    Can you do 4th yr college calculus? I could my second week of first year. Teacher kept giving me problems on the board and I kept solving them till we ran out of room. Then he told me I was working at a 4th year level. Asked me how it was possible. Told him I read the book. Not sure he believed me. But the evidence was right in front of him.

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @lamh36:

    The President’s completely unqualified family members who cannot pass a security check are insisting they are entitled to jobs they would never be hired for in a merit-based administration.

    It’s appalling. SUCH a bad image for the country and such a bad signal to send to ordinary people who have to earn jobs. But, this is where we are. Really low standards that get lower every day.

  69. 69
    Another Scott says:

    Here’s the original slide. It’s from “PA Consulting Group” – whoever they are.

    More from FTFNYT from 2010. (The original story was broken by Richard Engle in December 2009.)

    HTH!

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  70. 70
    Kay says:

    @Jeffro:

    Right, but these are individual candidates running their own races. I would like Democrats to put together a consistent set of state-level education policies and make THAT one if their signature issues, like health care is. All they have to do is pick it up. Republicans just left it sitting there, for the taking :)

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Jesus. What a weak scumbag.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    mai naem mobile says:

    @lamh36: I wonder if Jared is trading stocks based on the PDBs? I can’t believe the info is worth enough to sell to pay off the 666 loan but trading stocks(shorting etc.) in it might make you enough.

  74. 74
    Bill Arnold says:

    …all the way to just slides that make so little sense I’m not sure anyone can explain them.

    The joke for that is:
    “As Moses said, these are not my slides”

    (A friend used this a few times; not found on the web.)

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Nobody who gets anywhere near Trump ends up better. I mean, most his hires are awful to begin with so it’s not a long fall but they somehow manage to become worse. He takes everything. These people are basically hollow shells walking around. They’ll say or do anything.

    Imagine how miserable it is inside that place. You have the moronic, mean-spirited douchebag at the top and then the otherwise unemployable family members scheming behind the scenes and constantly whining and back stabbing and spying and shit.

    It’s a nightmare of a workplace.

  76. 76
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mai naem mobile: IIRC his brother, the one who attended the women’s march in DC, runs (among other funds) the Kushner family stock portfolio, which was said to be worth about $500 million, again IIRC from the article I read over a year ago. They are very close and talk almost every day.

  77. 77
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay: JarJar is pissed because he’s dirty AF and can’t figure any way out. If he leaves the WH he’s all on his own, like every other dirty money laundering scumbag. Papa Trump is all he has left.

  78. 78
    joel hanes says:

    @Corner Stone:

    My actual college days at A Great State Landgrant Institution preceded the invention of computer presentations by some years, so presentation design rules were not a part of my college education.

    Those rules come from an internal “how to get executives to give you what you want” course I took at Amdahl, a designer and manufacturer of enormous mainframe computers.
    The underlying design philosophy is that you give them absolutely nothing to think about or get distracted by; there’s nothing there but your message, stated as bluntly and forcibly as is consonant with the truth.

    One advantage is that you spend almost no time at all on form, and spend that time instead on the substance of the claims you’re making.

    It has served me well for many years (I consistently got VPs to give me what I wanted), and more recently, when forced to use the Standard Corporate Presentation Template, I find it quite simple to write my slides first, and then pour them into the pre-existing format set.

    An occasional diagram helps, but among computer engineers, (architecture, industrial design, fashion, media), more than a miniumum of pretty shit just distracts.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: Kelly’s using the hard no later than date from the memo he did on clearances last week as a way to try to push the Kushners out of the White House. Because Kushner’s clearance is still interim, in fact he had to revise his financial disclosure section again last week. This is going to leave the President with only three possibilities: 1) Kelly goes to the President, explains that Kushner isn’t clearable, that he has to go, and the President allows Kelly to push him out. 2) Kelly goes to the President, explains that Kushner isn’t clearable, that he has to go, and the President issues the formal waiver bypassing the clearance guidelines and regulations, giving Kushner access to whatever he wants to see despite being unable to actually get an adjudicated clearance, and Kelly lives with this because it is no longer his problem. 3) Kelly goes to the President, explains that Kushner isn’t clearable, that he has to go, and the President issues the formal waiver bypassing the clearance guidelines and regulations, giving Kushner access to whatever he wants to see despite being unable to actually get an adjudicated clearance, and Kelly either resigns or is fired because he’s been completely undermined.

  80. 80

    @Omnes Omnibus: I built one when I was 10.

    (Dad really wanted me to follow in his footsteps and become a EE.)

  81. 81
    joel hanes says:

    Adam’s horrible example slide is horrible first because it does not make any detectable claim or statement at all, and second because no one could possibly remember any information that it might hope to impart.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dimmsdale: Just google ISAF spaghetti slides and you’ll find bigger ones online. It’s just everyone has placed their own watermarks on them and I didn’t want to hassle with it, so I snagged the first decent sized one that hadn’t been branded by whichever site posted it.

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    So we had an autocall from our school emergency system. They had a threat but the student has been “detained” which means he’s at the juvenile facility about 10 miles away and will appear in juvenile court for an initial hearing tomorrow AM to see if they hold or release him. He or SHE. Sorry. Could be a she.

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I got a D+ in Calc. We had four take home exams for the term. I fucked up three of them by doing nothing but reading Algonquin Group writers during the term. I learned Calc and aced the final for the last exam. I haven’t used a mic in years, but I think I still could. My maternal grandfather was a machinist (actually a tool and dye maker) who had such a devotion to the old craft system that he cut his salary in half to teach at a vocational school. Master craftsmen have a responsibility to teach, don’t they?

  85. 85
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dimmsdale: You have no ideas how many slides I’ve fixed for colleagues.

  86. 86
    Mike in NC says:

    @lamh36: My wet dream is that Kelly gets the boot and Jared becomes Chief of Staff. The chaos and insanity get dialed up to 11.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jager: I think they use those Toughbooks. Beyond that, I have no idea.

  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I’d put my money on option 2 at 1-100.

  89. 89
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s going to be some mix of 2 and 3. Kelly wants JarJar gone but can’t get it done. He’ll be fired before he has the courage to resign.

  90. 90
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jager: What @Omnes Omnibus: said!

  91. 91
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Burying weak ideas through complex obfuscation can never fail, it can only be failed.

    Ever thus.

  92. 92
    Sab says:

    @Kay: My husband goes to a weekly coffee klatch with guys he has known forever in NE Ohio, and they are pretty much uniformly furious about schools, and they are pretty much all over the board politically.

    They are angry about what is happening to our schools and school funding, about why our property tax dollars are used to bus local kids to charter schools in the next county (!) instead of being used in our local public schools, and why it costs our kids more in tuition to go to the local state college than it cost me to go to a snooty private liberal arts college a generation ago.

    They are really angry. Their kids’ futures are being impaired and they don’t like it.

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: My understanding is over a 100 KIA and/or wounded based on what I’ve been reading.

  94. 94
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You give me a lot of hope cornerstone re: Jared and Ivanka but I’m taking a wait and see attitude on those two.

    They’ve skated before :)

  95. 95
    Aleta says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The person close to the White House described the interplay in all its delicacy: “You have Jared, who’s been floating ideas of who his father-in-law will replace Kelly with, on one side; and Kelly, who’s basically saying, ‘Fuck you, Jared.’”

    vanity fair

  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Thanks to John Oliver Jared’s voice is for evermore Gilbert Gottfried, and Gilbert Gottfried briefing Trump is equally amusing and horrifying.

  97. 97
    lamh36 says:

    Oh.. HELL NAW!!! they are reportedly NOT gonna be doing “Be Prepared” in the LIVE Action Lion King!!!! WTF!!!

    No…they plan on having “original” music with Beyonce…ugh…FUQ THAT! Ugh…that heffa still tyring to get that Oscar ain’t she…ugh

    Live-Action Lion King Movie Axing One Iconic Song https://www.themarysue.com/live-action-lion-king-movie-villain/ via @TheMarySue

    UGH…Scar’s song is in my top 10 Disney Villain songs too!!! Top freakn 5!!!!
    Top 10 Disney Villain Songs [HD] https://youtu.be/Ep6xU1lfMuQ via @YouTube

  98. 98
    Kay says:

    @Sab:

    I know! Now Democrats can add “school safety” to the loooong list of pent-up demand on grossly neglected schools.

    Are there no consultants, Sab? We’re somehow short of people who are paid to come up with these things? Where is the Democratic Frank Luntz?

  99. 99
    Bill Arnold says:

    I hope the organizers record the Military Powerpoint Karaoke event (link copied from OP above); that sounds like it will be awesome!

    Also known as “Battle Decks,” Powerpoint Karaoke is an improvisational and art event where audience members give a presentation using a set of Powerpoint slides that they’ve never seen before. There are three rules: 1) The presenter cannot see the slides before presenting; 2) The presenter delivers each slide in succession without skipping slides or going back; and 3) The presentation ends when all slides are presented, or after 5 minutes (whichever comes first).

  100. 100
    jl says:

    The problem with the first slide was that it didn’t use high quality conspiracy yarn. A little reliable conspiracy yarn would fix it all right up.

    Andy Richter’s Conspiracy Theory Yarn
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzEkAldWLtg

  101. 101

    @Aleta: Sounds like a totally functional working environment.

  102. 102
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Maybe I was wrong. This is serious. When Jared and Ivanka take off the gloves- off their immaculately manicured, gem-encrusted hands- they contact their friends at the NYTimes:

    Maggie Haberman‏Verified account
    @maggieNYT
    Follow Follow @maggieNYT
    More
    This is the highest level at which Kelly has challenged the president’s son-in-law. In meetings and in group emails and conversations, Kelly has readily brushed back both Kushner and the president’s daughter, which has irked them

    This means war! Bringing in the big guns.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: For me, Airborne school was the one that I wanted to do to prove myself to myself. I started to do pre-Ranger training until I decided that I thought that the tab would be great, but my prove myself need had already been answered. To succeed there you need the need to prove yourself. My wings were enough for me.

  104. 104
    Suzanne says:

    Ughhhhh.
    The military needs to hire some graphic designers.
    Those things make me wand to reach for a gun myself.

  105. 105
    jl says:

    @Jager: It’s the bullet points, all about the bullet points.

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I’m pretty sure that neither Jared nor his brother has any actual political beliefs. They want what they think is best for the family’s finances, and nothing more.

  107. 107
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I don’t judge anyone based on their tabs. I’m just a schmo civilian that gets to work with them.

  108. 108
    Suzanne says:

    @joel hanes:

    Every slide has one title, which is an assertion.
    Every slide has five or less sub-assertions, probably as bullet points, each of which supports one aspect of the assertion in the title.
    Every assertion must be a complete sentence.

    Oh fuck this. Seven words per slide. If I’m feeling CRAZY, I’ll stretch that to 10.
    Your image should be meaningful, and you should speak to it.
    If you have more words to convey and no images, don’t use PowerPoint. Use a medium more appropriate for text.

  109. 109
    Calouste says:

    @Aleta:

    Kelly, who’s basically saying, ‘Fuck you Thoughtsandprayers, Jared.’”

    FTFY

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Have you pied me? Read my comment at 58. Your suggestion that Dems are not responsive is simply wrong.

  111. 111
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Master craftsmen have a responsibility to teach, don’t they?

    Don’t know if it’s a responsibility, (or if I’d be considered a master craftsman) but I’ve been teaching on the job for decades. It really is the only way people can learn to actually accomplish hands on work. Be taught, practice, do. I also find that teaching is a great way to stay sharpe in your own skills. My boss asked me to do something today and ended his sentence with I don’t know how you are going to to that. I told him that I have the exact tool for the job. Showed it to him and he was stunned that something so simple existed. And no, I didn’t make the tool, but I was smart enough to purchase it decades ago. I think that counts.

  112. 112
    Aleta says:

    @Another Scott: “PA Consulting Group” is British.
    website: (You wouldn’t call it blinding.)

  113. 113
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: Teaching was a responsibility for master craftsman under the guild system. He was old fashioned.

  114. 114
    Sab says:

    @Kay: I don’t know about consultants. It seems our side is just trying to keep food on the table, and their side all has a public trough to feed at, and “think” tanks to retire to when they eventually fail.

    Though I really really wish we were building more infrastructure (folks on the ground) and spending much less on political ads that make me turn the channel or turn off the tv, take the phone off the hook and open a book.

  115. 115
    joel hanes says:

    @Suzanne:

    IIRC, your field is visual: architecture and design ?

    Mine is not.

    As always, your forceful criticism is appreciated.

  116. 116
  117. 117
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: the brother is the one who invested or cofounded Oscar which is bleeding money last u heard. And u believe he invested in some other Silicon Valley start up which failed a while back. Still the brother could be trading on the info. Just heard on MSNBC that Javanka was in the Carribean this weekend. Wonder if they met up with Wendy Deng again.

  118. 118
    Sab says:

    @Sab: Got any advice on Voter registration? Who is doing it well. I would rather not freelance if there are competent pele to advice me, but time is growing short. The primary is in May, and the general isn’t that far away.

  119. 119
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I saw that earlier. Wife and I have a cruise – our first – March 2-10 in the Gulf of Calilfornia, from La Paz. Would be scared by that news piece…

    But there are only 64 passengers and 12 naturalists, it’s called an Adventure Cruise, more like summer camp than Carnival Lines, no casino, but wet suits, no TV, but kayaks, there will be food and a bar. Whales and sea lions.

    We’ll be joining old friends who did one in the Galapagos a couple of years ago, so I’m thinking it will be big fun. A bucket list event with National Geographic… Getting fired up.

  120. 120
    Mnemosyne says:

    @joel hanes:

    Trying to get techies to think visually so that what they’re saying will be more comprehensible to non-techies is … an interesting challenge sometimes. To say the least.

  121. 121
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No I don’t even know how to pie and I wouldn’t do it – I’m almost impossible to offend and you’re always polite anyway :)

    I see what you’re saying with the wins but that policy focus was driven by individual candidates almost in desperation- Democrats didn’t recruit teachers and say “we should really re-focus on one of our core strengths- public education”. They’re teachers because they’re concerned about this.

    Democrats pretty much own health care as an issue. They could own public education too.

    I’d like a concentration on a set of issues they can really shine on state- level. Health care (they have) + education + voting rights. Public education is going begging. Republicans suck on it. Really bad.

    You probably noticed this example – Scott Walker watched that state race in Wisconsin and all of a sudden he’s the public education governor. He knows he’s vulnerable on it. They all are.

  122. 122
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sab:

    Check and see if there’s an Indivisible or Swing Left group near you. The ones out here in CA really seem to have their shit together.

  123. 123
    Steve in the ATL says:

    Is it safe to post now—have all those elitist east coast posters gone to bed?

  124. 124
    debbie says:

    Jeez, that slide makes Glenn Beck’s chalkboard look sane.

  125. 125
    Mnemosyne says:

    @J R in WV:

    Do you have a website for the company? That sounds like something I might be able to talk G into. 🤔

  126. 126
    Ruckus says:

    @Calouste:
    I knew that THOUGHTSANDPRAYERS stood for something, and I had the feeling that Fuck You was the proper translation but it’s informative to see that someone else agrees.
    I wonder how soon one of those HS students is going to openly say this back to someone who sends them THOUGHTSANDPRAYERS. Something along the line of “No Thanks, and fuck you too.”

  127. 127
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Let’s not fuck with the natural process….

  128. 128
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: one reason patent litigators charge so much is that very few people have both the ability to understand the technology and the ability to communicate with actual humans.

  129. 129
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Apparently you can plea bargain a speeding ticket.

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Take a chance.

  131. 131
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    True Confession time: I was one of the 9th ID staffers responsible for the proliferation of computer generated slides back in the 80’s. The CoS insisted we use them in all our briefings, part of the “high-tech testbed” concept. We tried to keep them short and sweet, but obviously things are out of control now.

  132. 132
    MIke in NC says:

    @Kay: I want all of Trump’s enabling generals to go AWOL with no replacements in sight.

  133. 133
    Steeplejack says:

    @Gozer:

    Now that’s a slide show! Tufte would be proud.

  134. 134
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: dude, most of the lawyers here could have told you that. Except for burnsie, but he could help with any tax consequences.

  135. 135
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @mai naem mobile: something I read while looking for numbers on the Kushners (I was looking to compare it to their upcoming $600 million (at least) mortgage coming due later this year), I found an article on the brother that said he was an early investor in instagram and a couple other tech companies I didn’t recognize

  136. 136
    Sab says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What the phuck kind of sociopath. Isn’t she an urban dweller?

  137. 137
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    He probably worked at a time like my dad. Or maybe even me. All machines were operated by a human, not a computer. The computer does it better though. All the humans had to be trained on the job, because while basic skills could be taught in a classroom, real craft work takes practice, practice, practice, and the proper talent to practice with, to produce real products. Pretty much like any skill. Music, medicine, boat building, machining, rocket science…..

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    patent litigators

    That species still exists?

  139. 139
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ruckus: lawyering! Commenting on top ten thousand blogs!

  140. 140
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: You’re like Patient Zero in World War Z.

  141. 141
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: dude, you live close enough to the Eastern District of Texas to see hordes of them on a regular basis. They are real! Though most of the ones I know are weird as hell. But not all.

    But most.

  142. 142
    Sab says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’ll try that, but Ohhoho isn’t Caifornia.

    an be

  143. 143
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    Except for burnsie, but he’s could help with any tax consequences a fucking schmuck.

  144. 144
    MIke in NC says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Several years ago I was working an exercise at USJFCOM and noticed one of the Army guys in the command center. Was about 40 years old, maybe an O-4, looked like some schoolteacher or accountant. He wore a Special Forces patch on his ACU shirt, with a Navy SEAL trident over his pocket.

  145. 145
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: I thought I said that.

  146. 146
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    So I’m going to throw this out, because it’s an excellent laugh for anyone who has been on the wrong end of a PowerPoint presentation that you shouldn’t have been in, Or it was so bad that you lost the point of the presentation after the title slide. I give you the famous (in certain weird circles)

    the Chicken Chicken Chicken Presentation

  147. 147
    Ruckus says:

    @Suzanne:
    You know you just harshed the mellow of most every military powerpoint producer.

    The point of powerpoint is to make all of your points powerful.

    To do that you have to put all of your points in one slide and everyone will be able to see your magnificence. I mean really it’s all in the name PowerPoint.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: The ones I know all ran screaming after changes to the USPTO during the GWB admin. They were commoditized.
    And don’t mention the fucking ED of TX. Fucking assholes still require fax service and in some cases WordPerfect.
    ***SHUTTER***

  149. 149
    Sab says:

    @Sab: Who drives that fast if you aren’t on the backside of Wyoming or Arizona. Wow.

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: Naturalist in this context means?

  151. 151
    dimmsdale says:

    @Kay: Kay, you didn’t ask ME, but Prof. George Lakoff is the Democratic Frank Luntz, except Democrats don’t listen to him–his neuroscience/ neurolinguist-based work wouldn’t allow the consultant class to continually carve same-old slices of same-old messaging off the same old lucrative roll of consultant baloney. He’s got a ton of academic videos on Youtube, but here’s one with him on Tavis Smiley, a concise explication of why Democratic messaging fails. link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OC-aS_QyHU

  152. 152
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Stay where you are. Someone will be coming to have a nice, quiet chat with you about this.

  153. 153
    Corner Stone says:

    dimmsdale, fix your link.

  154. 154
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sab: Westchester County primary residence. Hamptons weekend/summer/secondary residence.

  155. 155
    Sab says:

    @Sab: Commenting on Jeanine Pirro. Forgot to reply to Adam’s comment.

  156. 156
    joel hanes says:

    @Kay:

    all of a sudden [Wisconsin’s Walker is] the public education governor.

    After cutting $300 M from U Madison’s budget and trying to completely eliminate tenure ?
    Only fools will be fooled.

  157. 157
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I love that slide. Why it cheers me up would probably make a good PhD project for some psych major.

  158. 158
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MIke in NC: My former boss, at the time a retired Army colonel with a PhD, is now the Superintendent of the Merchant Marine Academy. Which is a 2 star Navy billet. In the middle of July 2012 he was recalled to active duty in the service of the United States as a colonel and then immediately promoted to Rear Admiral, Upper Half, US Navy Reserve (active). The whole thing took about 45 seconds. He’s the only US Navy flag officer with a screaming eagle on his uniform.

  159. 159
    Another Scott says:

    @Suzanne: Krugman posts his slides on his blog occasionally. Usually they’re a single graph with little or no text (even on the axes (grr)).

    It takes a really good, knowledgeable speaker to give a good talk with slides like that. I assume he is one person who can do it. ;-)

    Another memorable set of slides I saw once was by Stani who wrote Phatch (photo batch) and SPE. He gave a talk at Pycon in 2010. I didn’t see the talk, but the slides were posted and were great. He also designed a 5 Euro coin for the Netherlands. A great talent.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  160. 160
    Sab says:

    Aren”t you supposed touse helicopters to zip around there. It’s not appropriate to speed in a car there. Might kill a peon. Or might kill her. That also might be sad.

  161. 161
    joel hanes says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I have never once had a need to do a powerpoint presentation for non-techies.

    When I need visuals, I’d rather use a whiteboard.

  162. 162
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: if the Duke sweatshirt fits…

    @Corner Stone: lawyers LOVE WordPerfect. I bitch at least once a month about not having “reveal codes” in Word.

  163. 163
    Ruckus says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    I’ve met quite a few lawyers in my days and while many of them are outstanding at what they do, I’ve also seen quite a few who couldn’t argue water out of a boot, with the instructions on the sole. And they still make a living out of it. Ran across one of these at an upper end LA law firm once. People in my line of work who can’t actually do the work end up sweeping floors. And getting paid appropriately.

  164. 164
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sab: She spent a couple of weekends ago poking around Chappaqua on a hunt for Hillary Clinton gossip, or something. It’s fortunate for her that she didn’t run into Hillary’s Secret Service detail.

  165. 165
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @joel hanes:

    Only fools will be fooled.

    So…his base?

  166. 166
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    You probably did but didn’t use enough words.

  167. 167
    Damned at Random says:

    @Mike in NC: Retired 10 years ago. I don’t miss those days- in fact, I still have nightmares about them

  168. 168
    Fair Economist says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]: @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]: Chicken Chicken Chicken was so funny I was gasping for breath. You need to have attended a lot of scientific conferences to perceive how deftly it mimics the usual flow of a scientific presentation.

    The piece de resistance was having backup slides.

  169. 169
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Lawyers do not love it. Old people can’t let it go.

  170. 170
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dimmsdale: I fixed your link, which was capturing the reply button

    Democrats don’t listen to Lakoff because he is simply wrong. And any that do listen to him shouldn’t because he is simply wrong. Not in terms of neurolinguistics, but in terms of politics. When you listen to him talk about this stuff it is clear he has no understanding about how campaigns work.

    My doctorate is in political science and criminology. I am not qualified to authoritatively discuss neurolinguistics. He is not qualified based on his education and experience to opine authoritatively about how politics work.

  171. 171
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That was the saddest pilot episode Fran Drescher ever made. A terrible career slide from The Nanny//

  172. 172
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Ruckus: not all lawyers are litigators. Some are [shudder] transactional lawyers. And at big firms you’ll find a lot of “litigators” who have never actually tried a case.

    And lots of otherwise talented lawyers can’t handle the stress of waiting for a jury to come back with a verdict or waiting on union election results. But the world needs real estate closing attorneys too!

  173. 173
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: I dissent, and I have hordes of angry, WordPerfect-loving lawyers backing me up!

    What do we want? Reveal codes!
    When do we want it! In 1995!

  174. 174
    Sab says:

    @Ruckus: That sounds like me before I retired from my brief law career. Lawyers are tough. Tax accountants have similar skills but don’r need to eviscerate themselves to earn an honest living. Lawyers don’t either, they can just do the job without as much pain. Amazing and amazingly resilient people.

  175. 175
    Kay says:

    This story. Just crazy:

    Just over a year ago, Broward teacher Annika Dean was waiting for her luggage at the Fort Lauderdale airport when a gunman opened fire in the baggage claim area, killing five people and wounding six others.
    Dean dove to the ground next to a luggage cart and prayed fervently that her two sons would not be left without a mother. A stranger dropped down and lay on top of her, whispering that he would protect her. Miraculously, they both survived.
    “I thought, ‘It isn’t impossible for this to happen twice,’ ” Dean said. She just didn’t think it would happen again so soon — or at her son’s high school.

    You know what comes next…

    In his messages, Austin told Dean that he’d been outside for a fire drill when he heard what sounded like gunfire. He said people had started running and screaming and that he’d taken shelter in a nearby Junior ROTC classroom. Then, a moment later, Austin sent another text message. It’s not a drill, he told his mother, it’s real.
    “My heart just sank,” Dean said. “I had been the one sending those texts last year.”

  176. 176
    J R in WV says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes I do: Lindblad

    They do things all over the world. It isn’t cheap, but it is remarkable with a ton of variety. Lots of professionals at doing whatever your particular adventure is, equipment, etc. This is our first one, if it isn’t great I’ll be fussy right here.

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I plea bargained an expensive (I recall it was supposed to be $85, I remember taking a hundred with me) ticket down to $18 once because the lady at the window couldn’t find the cost in her notebook. $18 was the minimum and I was in the cashier line with my wallet out so fast I may have given her whiplash.

  178. 178
    dimmsdale says:

    @Adam L Silverman: thanks for fixing the link, Adam. Can you say a little more about your differences with Lakoff? I think his points have a lot of value in terms of messaging/framing, at least on an interpersonal level, but I don’t have the background you do. I’d be curious to know more.

  179. 179
    eemom says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    lawyers LOVE WordPerfect. I bitch at least once a month about not having “reveal codes” in Word.

    Dunno no “reveal codes”, but I once had a screaming fight with a law firm “superior” because I used WP to write a brief when she told me to use Word. That was circa 2003 or so, when I still gave a shit about such things.

    Does ANYBODY still use WP anymore? I can’t even remember what was better about it.

  180. 180
    frosty says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Duh. Click on the paragraph symbol on the menu bar. It’ll look just like WordPerfect. I don’t know how these kids I work with can do without it. I mean, 5 spaces instead of a tab????

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Sab:
    People who pass me when I’m doing 75-80 on my way to work. And yes there are times when LA traffic goes that fast. Like most days. Today wasn’t one of them but most are. Now if I was going in the other direction, it would be more like max 25-30. Which is also the max speed going opposite my direction in the evening.

  182. 182

    @Steve in the ATL: I used to work for litigators.

    ETA: I had to handle the legal secretaries as they, eh, transitioned from WordPerfect to MS Word. And folk wondered why I drank.

  183. 183

    There’s a Futurama where Zoidberg is trying (poorly) to act rich and asks a gallery owner for “one art, please.” I’m imagining somebody who learned about drugs from that slide doing something similar. “Three trips of acid, my good sir!”

  184. 184
    Another Scott says:

    @eemom: Before Winders took off, WordPerfect was great because they provided printer drivers for any printer that you could come up with.

    And Reveal Codes.

    I still fight with Word almost every time I use it because it insists on putting tables and pictures where I don’t want them, etc., etc. Reveal Codes was great and is still sorely needed.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  185. 185
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Another Scott: THANK YOU

    @frosty: it’s not the same and you know it. Clearly, Big Wordprocessor has gotten to you!

  186. 186
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Another Scott:
    They’re a management/IT consulting firm based in Britain. I encountered them from time to time in my life as a tech journo.

  187. 187
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Kay: The core problem here is that Kelly can’t really push back on them without pushing back on Trump. If he attacks Jared as an idiot who was born into his money and doesn’t know anything about government or even business… he’s described Trump to a T. The core problem here is that Jared (and Ivanka) have NO qualifications for the position they’re in, just like Trump. And like Trump, they’ve fucked up royally because of it.

    The “Security Clearance” issue is as good an evasion as any around this central fact. It lets Kelly attack Jared without attacking his ‘earned right’ to be there.

  188. 188
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: those are both compelling reasons to drink.

    In fact, as I type this I am enjoying a nice Malbec in my luxurious John Madden-owned hotel.

  189. 189
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    People with degrees and years of study in birds or fish or penguins or wherever you go, experienced photographers, National Geographic types. Our friends went to the Galapagos, and the staff knew all about the wildlife there. You get a list of the staff and their experience and education as prep for the trips.

  190. 190
    frosty says:

    @frosty: ETA WordPerfect 5.2 was the pinnacle of word processing. Everything since has been half-asses publications design and it’s raised the bar so that all our docs have to look professionally slick even if we don’t have the chops to pull it off.

  191. 191

    @Another Scott:

    And Reveal Codes.

    WYSIWYG, it’s not the 1980’s anymore.

    (I’ve been using MS Word since 1983.)

  192. 192

    @Steve in the ATL: I had to give up the booze(ER doc said you have to quit or you die).

  193. 193
    frosty says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Been a long time … but I still have an executable copy of WP 5.2 on a 3.5 set of disks… now where did I leave that drive?

    ETA: re your commenf, close enough for an engineer.

  194. 194
    Corner Stone says:

    Did someone demand a return to buggy whips?

  195. 195
  196. 196
    Corner Stone says:

    @frosty: You may want to look under that ZIP Drive rolodex in your closet’s closet.

  197. 197
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dimmsdale: When I hear him interviewed on this stuff my understanding of how politics, especially during a campaign, work sets off alarm bells in terms of what he is specifically recommending. I’ve worked (actually oversaw) strategic communication for an Army program. I’ve done extensive work in what is now called MISO – military information support operations (Information Operations and Psychological Operations). So I’m familiar with some of the technical concepts he’s referencing, as well as the overall points he is trying to make. But my education as a political scientist is telling me that what he recommends will not work. There are a number of reasons for that.

    Part of the reason that Luntz has been successful as a messaging guru is who he was tasked on trying to influence. People motivated by fear and anger. The modern conservative movement and GOP messaging space is both rooted in promoting fear and anger and aimed at people who are the most susceptible/amenable to these messages. His other campaigning skills are middling. He runs a terrible focus group. The issue for anyone trying to motivate the constituencies that make up the Democratic Party is that they’re 1) nowhere near as coherent as the those that make up the GOP, 2) the messages that make the most sense for the Democrats vis a vis their actual policy positions are not amenable to being packaged and sold using fear and anger motivators. In fact one of the major problems is that the Democrats are, overall, not all that good at politics. A lot of specific Democratic politicians are. But this goes beyond communication skills and charisma. The heart of the problem is that the Democratic party is much better and much closer to right on most to all of the domestic policy issues that the vast majority of America even remotely pay attention to. But those policies and the strategies to enact them are not easy to turn into concise, clear pithy slogans.

    The problem is that wide swaths of Americans do not and/or cannot handle nuance, subtlety, and complexity. What the Democrats stand for and try to do requires explanations that even when boiled all the way down, won’t usually fit on a bumper sticker. You can see this. Take McConnell for an example. He was very effective accumulating power while in the minority because he was messaging fear and anger to those most susceptible to it. But he has no real effective grasp of policy, nor policies and strategies to implement. Which is why he can’t get anything actually done, other than judicial appointments (and only then by once again breaking the norms, rules, and traditions of the Senate) that doesn’t involve continuing to block things or scaring and angering people in support of blocking things.

    Part of the problem here is the news media. Specifically the political reporters who cover campaigns and politicians. The vast majority of them could care less about policy and strategy. They care about the horse race. Who is up/who is down. Who is rallying the base. This makes it even harder for Democrats to do what Lakoff recommends. Or for that to work.

  198. 198
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: and that’s why you no longer work for lawyers

    @frosty: I concur

    @MisterForkbeard: that is excellent insight, MisterNeckbeard

  199. 199
    Corner Stone says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I hope he goes after Jared. I am so hoping. Either way, it’s a win-win for the American people.

  200. 200

    @Corner Stone: I use a Zip disk as a coaster at work.

  201. 201
    Sab says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I tried a case in my brief career. Once.The other guy won, but he got $1 damages because the jury felt so sorry for my client and his lack of adequate representation.

    He was liable as hell, but he lucked out having me representate him.

  202. 202
    J R in WV says:

    G’night all…. it’s late here in the East, and I was up really early this am. I beat the On the Road post….

  203. 203
    Another Scott says:

    @Amir Khalid: It’s kinda weird that they were making slides for McChrystal, isn’t it?

    But, anyway, it’s a perfectly fine System Dynamics slide and not confusing at all.

    (groucho-roll-eyes.gif)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  204. 204
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @J R in WV: Okay, because I wasn’t sure if you meant people with the clothing optional lifestyle.

    The cruise sounds like fun. Have an enjoyable time.

  205. 205
    Sab says:

    @Sab: I did realy try. He poured a conrete floor amazingly lumpingly badly.

  206. 206
    frosty says:

    @Sab: That’s just so sad!

  207. 207
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @J R in WV: east coast elitist.

    @Sab: count that as a win! Were you representing Donald trump and the USFL against the NFL?

    @Major Major Major Major: I’m so old our wedding by guest list was on a 5.25” floppy.

  208. 208
    Another Scott says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: WYSIWWWTGY (… what Word wants to give you). That’s not good enough when Word guesses wrong.

    Cheers,
    Scott.
    (“Who has seen and been amazed by the elegance of LaTeX and wishes his colleagues weren’t so against using it.”)

  209. 209
    Sab says:

    @Sab: My spelling is shot. I promised to go to bed an hour ago. Bye.

  210. 210
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Thanks, Steve Occasionally Adjacent To The ATL.

    @Corner Stone: Yep. If either Kelly or Jared/Ivanka go, it’s a net plus. If BOTH go, that means all the white house factions are up in the air and the main advisor left would be… Stephen Miller?

  211. 211
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Another Scott: Not really. Lots of companies that you wouldn’t expect have butts in seats business development units that bid on government contracts to provide all sorts of personnel for the DOD. Quite often when they get them they don’t have the personnel and then sub the work out.

    I once got contacted by a professional contact asking if I could help a friend of his who was a recruiter in Tampa find someone to hire a cultural subject matter expert for a contract where they needed an Africanist. The recruiter was for a small company that was subbed to Deloitte. Deloitte had won the contract, but didn’t have anyone who could do this. So they subbed it out while still taking a healthy cut. I contacted the recruiter, she sent me the details, and it turns out this contract was under the purview of a different part of Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). And they weren’t supposed to be contracting for this because they kept insisting they actually had appropriate personnel on their permanent staff who could do these courses.

    Narrator voice: they were lying.

    So I had to contact my higher headquarters back at TRADOC, which then had to raise hell, etc, etc, etc.

  212. 212
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Hey, remember that discussion we had a few days ago about self-insert characters? I remember I found this story a few years ago and it’s still hilarious. Unfortunately it will likely never be finished. The main character is completely believable and funny.

    The Adventures of Tuxboy!
    My favorite part from the story:

    A magnificent picture of a man stood on the balcony, donning a tuxedo, mask and a cape that flowed majestically with the wind. He was simply… Perfect. She could even hear music in the background, fitting of such a… GOD.

    Usagi knew how deeply she was blushing. She didn’t care. She was his, now and forever.

    And then the god spoke, a suave and relaxed melody coming out of his mouth. “My name is…” He seemed to cringe. Sexily. “Unimportant. Sailor moon, don’t give up! You must be-”

    He trailed off, looking around with a frown.

    “…Where the hell is that music coming from?”

    Sailor Moon blinked. So did the Youma.

    The mystery man ignored them as he rummaged through his clothing. “What the…?” He growled, pulling his cape into view. “A music player sown to the cape?! How is that practical?! What if I need to be stealthy?! My theme song is not even cool! Oh GREAT costume design, Takeuchi!” He slammed the cape against the wall.

    The music suddenly stopped.

    “HAH!” He cheered… Then yelped as the cape suddenly gave off a couple of sparks.

    “Umm…” Sailor Moon choked out. Her knight in shining armor wasn’t acting very knightly.

    The myst—oh come on, you know it’s Chase.

    Chase gave a start at her voice. He seemed to have forgotten they had been there. The youma herself shook out of her stupor, starting to get angry as much as she felt confused.

    “Uhh…” Chase stammered, looking down at the girl. “…er, you just gotta believe in yourself!”

    “What?”

    “…Bye!”

    Then he jumped down the window.

    The youma let out a snarl. “I will get that fool ye-”

    CRASH!

    “ACK!” Came the muffled voice from the outside. “SON OF A BITCH! How could I forget I was two-stories up?! …Thank God for these bushes.”

  213. 213
    Corner Stone says:

    @MisterForkbeard: I have it on good authority that Krusty the Clown is available to take the CoS position. Sideshow Bob sounds like a step up as SecState.

  214. 214
    Adam L Silverman says:

    The US men’s hockey team has been eliminated as a result of the shootout after completing regular and overtime tied 2-2 with the Czech Republic.

  215. 215
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: If you need to get eliminated, there’s no shame in going down to the Czech team.

  216. 216

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: author’s note makes it sound fun. Kilgore Trout is still the best self-insert though.

  217. 217
    Sab says:

    @Sab: @frosty: It was for the other guy. Lost from his oponents incompetence.

    I sucked at litigation and law, but I am a good tax accountant. Whole different skill set.

  218. 218
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: It was a great game. Both teams played excellently and deserved to win. I get that its the Olympics, but to loose in a shootout seems to be suboptimal to letting them keep playing overtime periods.

  219. 219
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I haven’t read much beyond some of his short stories. In my freshman college writing course, I read Harrison Bergeron. I liked it. I was shocked at my classmates’ interpretations of the story because they took it at face value. To me it always read as a parody of Ayn Rand. I said as much in my essay on it.

    I’m a sucker for fanfics that alter something about the canon of something, usually ones that involve mental time travel with one of the main characters going back to the beginning of the series.

  220. 220
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Agreed. I get why the shootouts exist, but they’re such a ‘non-hockey’ way to resolve a stalled hockey game.

    But then, I suppose the Olympics really needs to make sure that the games go quickly, given the volume of matches involved.

  221. 221
    Ruckus says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Oh I know that law, like a lot of other professions, has to compartmentalize to get anything done, but this one wasn’t a real estate closing person and the firm, which I won’t name had enough dunderheads in the office that they didn’t last long. Very splashy, top names, lasted 2 yrs 1988-1990. We came there from another firm that had lasted only months before it closed it’s LA offices and a bunch of the lawyers there came from the months long one. And yet one of the sharpest I’ve met was I think what’s known as a senior partner. That is just below named partner isn’t it?

  222. 222
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @MisterForkbeard: Unfortunately.

    I’m also trying to figure out why my guide said women’s curling, which I wanted to watch, and instead I got five hours of figure skating on NBCSports.

  223. 223
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Fair Economist: I actually use it as a teaching tool. All flow, stripped of data. Plus it helps defuse the terror of first time scientific presenters.

  224. 224
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:

    I can’t even remember what was better about it.

    What was better was that people were used to it and early word wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. But mostly it was people had learned to use it and it worked OK. Change is hard for some people, impossible for many others.

  225. 225
  226. 226
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]:

    I’m also trying to figure out why my guide said women’s curling, which I wanted to watch, and instead I got five hours of figure skating on NBCSports.

    I KNOW. SOMEONE HAS TO PAY FOR THIS.

  227. 227
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Guess the bait-and-switch is a figure skating technique now… [Mr. Trowel has discovered a love of curling this olympics. I guess it makes sense because he’s also a cricket tragic but I’ve just about had enough]

  228. 228
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: There’s a lot of interesting strategy in curling that I appreciate. I find the control of space via placement of the stones intriguing.

  229. 229
    burnspbesq says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki:

    The pre-breakup Bell System was a contender for Most (and most obscure) TLA.

  230. 230
    Sab says:

    @Adam L Silverman: NBC sucks and also misleads (lies outrageously) to its viewers. I have watched for thirty years. Not falling for it again. Missed important stuff. Saw less than mediocre Americans. Other countries have amazing athletes. Why can’t we see them?

  231. 231
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Don’t know yet. The Welcome Workshop isn’t until this Friday and then I’ll be given my training schedule. The workshop will be 3 hrs long.

  232. 232
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TheMightyTrowel: This women’s relay speed skate has turned into roller derby!

  233. 233
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Sab: Please revise and resubmit your comment. Please include the following additions:
    LOSERS!
    HATERS!
    SAD!
    Low Energy!
    #MAGA!

  234. 234
    Origuy says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I used to work with a guy who had been a lawyer and changed to programming. He wrote software specs like legal briefs, full of footnotes. He went back to law and is working in patents.

  235. 235
    Corner Stone says:

    @Origuy:

    He went back to law and is working in patents.

    He may be happy with billing $150 an hour, like a landsman, but his future prospects are garbage. Hopefully he is retirement age.

  236. 236
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: heard you were looking for me the other day to tell you how to decertify the union. Welcome to the dark side!

  237. 237
  238. 238
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: show us on the doll where the patent lawyer touched you

    @Origuy: patent prosecution? It’s largely a commodity now, but he probably deals with a lot less BS than I do! Because BS is, you know, like 93% of my job.

  239. 239
    Hkedi [Kang T. Q.] says:

    @Corner Stone: Chicken Chicken Chiken?

  240. 240
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    Uh no lol. That’s one of the things about the new job I’m looking forward to. I haven’t heard anything bad about the UFCW.

  241. 241
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Totes hilar.
    We all know you are getting by off skimming.

  242. 242
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hkedi [Kang T. Q.]: Something something about WP made my reply go to you instead of Adam. Then I could not edit.

  243. 243
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷: I was being facetious. Congrats, and I hope it works out beautifully for you!

    ETA: if you become a steward, I will pie you so fast….

  244. 244
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: WP—you were using WordPerfect? Lucky!

  245. 245
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Baka Amerikahito) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    I kind of figured that out. What do you have against stewards? Did one spill hot coffee on you a flight once? :p

  246. 246
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steve in the ATL: It was actually a software developed after 1920. Some call it Word Press.
    I know change can be hard for some of you old timers. I still wonder where you are on the chain that you’re editing your own documents? You travel everywhere, stay wherever you like, eat, drink, etc. But you are still pining for an editing software that died pre-2K?

  247. 247
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Corner Stone: among other things, I negotiate union contracts and all the terms and conditions contained therein. I typically prepare the draft memoranda of agreement myself, to ensure that the terms and conditions are exactly what I want them to be. While one of my paralegals usually fixes the formatting, there are always charts and graphics and such that behave bizarrely, as Word charts and graphics and such are wont to do, causing us all to pine for reveal codes as we waste time that could be used more productively for eating, drinking, chasing white balls around, or even, god forbid, posting on neat top 10,000 status weblogs.

  248. 248
    patrick II says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Or the president* issues no formal waiver and Kelly, in his best Emily Litella voice, says “nevermind”

  249. 249
    TheMightyTrowel says:

    @Adam L Silverman: personally i go all in for women’s hockey

  250. 250
    kindness says:

    That LSD doc…. where are Doses? We called it that for ever.

  251. 251
    J R in WV says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ARG… you set me up for a terrible punny joke. I didn’t even see it coming.

    My dad was a Republican atheist nudist, also too… Wore short shorts and net tees in the summer, when he had to wear something to work. As boss, working nights, he set his own dress code. No A/C, hot lead pots in the press room below his newsroom. Hot. A long time ago. Lead pots not even legal today!

  252. 252
    dimmsdale says:

    Adam, thanks for your reply. Here’s an overly long response, at the end of a stone-cold thread that probably nobody’s reading anyhow, but I just didn’t have the horsepower to finish it last night.

    Not disagreeing with anything you wrote. Just to add, you say your experience tells you what he’s recommending won’t work but I think provisionally my response is, “It hasn’t worked, because it hasn’t really been TRIED.” I honestly don’t know that his understanding of how the human brain, and its neural networks, functions has ever been put to the test, or what his recommendations would look like as the foundation for a political campaign. How would they manifest?

    You say the Democratic “policies and the strategies to enact them are not easy to turn into concise, clear pithy slogans.” Yes! That’s precisely the challenge. That’s why I like Lakoff’s approach, because it kind of requires us to drill down past the language of policy prescriptions, programs, logic and strategy and instead get in touch with, and communicate more, on a gut level—expressive of our common humanity and mutual interdependence rather than the “fear and anger” motivators you mention. It looks to me as if Lakoff knows how to do that, and I’m looking into his body of knowledge more and more; I’d be curioius to see what would happen if he were actually in charge of (or contributing to) messaging on a campaign—congressional, state-representative, whatever. (Part of what hurts Dems is the lack of messaging ‘proving-grounds’; the right wing has hordes of well financed message shops, aka ‘think tanks’, that exist solely to test and refine messaging. The left, at least in the form of the national Democratic party apparatus, acts as if there are no common values that bind progressive people together, just slogans for the moment–e.g. “I’m with Her.” Phew!!)

    Part of what’s going on here, I think, is resistance on the left to ‘message’ or ‘bumper sticker’ politics at ALL, the attitude of ‘well, WE don’t stoop to that, we leave that to the other side, we appeal to Logic.’ Well, the other side is eating our lunch, for all the reasons you pointed out. And consistent, honest messaging that appeals to the ‘nurturant’ neural networks of the brain (in Lakoff’s terms) doesn’t demand a voter’s ability to handle nuance or subtlety. We’re talking (perhaps) about care, after all—a caring society where everyone flourishes, where we look out for each other (sometimes through government, sometimes not), and where we keep people safe and free (free from terror, but also free from chemical spills, from mass shooters, from fatalities due to crumbling infrastructure, from serfdom due to medical bankruptcy, and so on).

    FDR did it. A good part of his New Deal rhetoric was as plain and understandable as could be. And he was fighting the same forces we are (although forces with much less sophistication, money, and media reach than now.) He also knew he had to connect with regular folks, and run against corporate America when necessary, and our modern Dem party establishment thinks they can play footsie with corporate oligarchs, collect their contributions, and still appeal to average Americans whoa are increasingly getting f*ked over by that same corporate oligarchy (no wonder Dem messaging is all over the map).

    Luntz has tremendous institutional support in spite of his shortcomings; I wish somebody somewhere on OUR side had the guts to put Lakoff in the mix when crafting campaign strategy. I think that would require a belief A) that Lakoff knows what he’s talking about, and B) that there’s a way for professionals to apply his ideas in the political messaging arena. If we were the RNC, I bet dollars to doughnuts that already would be happening, purely on a let’s-see-what-happens basis, in some distant congressional race or other. At this point for progressives, I think we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a shot.

  253. 253
    phein58 says:

    Adam,

    @Adam L Silverman: We use to call those folks “flat fish”, people a company would have on file, especially engineers or scientists, so that they could say they were qualified to bid on projects. (I was one such fish myself for a while.) Turned out that no matter who won the bid, you’d find a lot of the same sub-contractors whatever.

Comments are closed.