Who Wrote the Op-Ed: Text-Mining Edition

When the cowardly “Resistance” op-ed came out, my first thought was, Gee, I bet we could get some insights on authorship by doing an automated textual analysis. Because of course that was my first thought. Well, somebody was kind enough to do one for us. Specifically, Michael W. Kearney, a journalism and informatics professor at the University of Missouri. Here is the result; I’ll do a layperson’s explanation below, and then some technical links for those so inclined.

https://twitter.com/kearneymw/status/1037700388617629696

Executive summary: This analysis suggests that it was somebody from the office of the Vice President, the State Department, or the Department of Commerce.

What is this?

  • The y-axis is various Twitter accounts, labeled on the left.
  • The x-axis is the textual correlation.
  • Kearney took up to 3,200 tweets from each of the accounts listed, and ran an analysis on those corpuses. He then compared the resulting numbers to the results of the same analysis run on the text of the op-ed.
  • The line at the top shows, of course, a 1.0 correlation with the op-ed itself. The next-highest are the Twitter accounts for the Vice President, Trump (who we can discount), Secretary Pompeo, Secretary Ross, and the State Department.
  • The analysis includes figures for things like comma usage, sentiment, politeness, word choice, first- and second-person preference, and so on.
  • It probably wasn’t somebody at the Department of Transportation.

Caveats

  • Update: I assumed this went without saying, but obviously tweets are not an ideal data source; just most-readily usable with what Kearney had laying around, and within a very short time period. 
  • We know from reporting on the Wolff book that anonymous sources sometimes intentionally steal other staffers’ phrasing when providing quotes.
    • This could explain the use of ‘lodestar,’ a strongly Pence-affiliated word.
    • However, it is harder to fake things like comma usage.
  • Higher-ranking officials are likely, in their Twitter communications, to try to sound more like Trump, or in general use more homogenous language.
    • This could explain the ~0.7 cluster of the most important officials and departments.
  • These are not huge volumes of text, and thus the figures are potentially not representative.

Technical Details

  • The replies here are worth perusing:

This was quick work, enabled by the library in the final bullet point, which I’m going to have to check out. Cool stuff.






254 replies
  1. 1
    Jeffro says:

    Of course, on that chart, 1/3 of the officials have already been fired/forced to resign, and 1/3 are almost as mentally incompetent as Trumpov himself.

    Looking forward to November now more than ever…to quote a certain Senator from the great state of New Jersey, “BRING IT!”

  2. 2
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Total shit show.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    Is a Twitter feed really the right dataset to use in comparison to a multi-paragraph essay? Especially if you’re basing the analysis on things like comma patterns, that’s going to be very different just because of the two different media. I realize that’s probably the best available dataset that covers most of the likely suspects, but ‘best available’ doesn’t mean ‘good’.

  4. 4

    The weakness is that the officials closer to the president* are more likely to copy his style, consciously or unconsciously. Also that they all have speechwriters whose job is to do that, even in tweets.

    As I think about it, it looks to me like the author is in the rank just below the Cabinet secretaries, or, less likely, the rank below that. Combination of my own intuition (75%) and what the NYT said about the author (25%).

  5. 5
    trollhattan says:

    Note to students of Professor Michael W. Kearney: Do not even think of plagiarizing for your assignments and tests for his class. That is all.

  6. 6
    David Rickard says:

    What are the odds that the OpEd was actually written by one of Trump’s enablers, to alert him to/sic him on the internal resistance?

  7. 7
    Martin says:

    No way this is a cabinet member. Go one level down. We’re looking for one of the human background furniture we see in the Oval or boarding AF1.

  8. 8
    Elizabelle says:

    @David Rickard: That’s an interesting question. I wonder about that too, and do not trust the emails, emails, emails FTF NY Times one bit.

  9. 9

    It’s an interesting analysis, but I have a few things that bother me about it:

    1) Tweets might not be the best comparison to an editorial. A tweet is a much more constrained piece of writing, which inherently changes the style. It would be better to get other, longer-form communications for the basis of comparison.

    2) These values appear to be normalized on a -1 to 1 scale, but they’re all from a fairly narrow range of authors. That gives us an idea about who is closer and who is further from the style of the editorial, but it doesn’t give us an idea of how close or far they are on an absolute scale. So we can see that USDOT and DeptVetAffairs are most different, but that doesn’t give a real feeling if they are sufficiently different to be confidently excluded. It might be good to include a control group of Democratic officials or maybe the 100 most followed accounts on Twitter to use as a broader-based comparison.

    3) Many of those accounts are official accounts with multiple people tweeting to them, which is likely to muddy the waters. Just as an example, you rule out Donald Trump as the author of the op-ed, but that isn’t necessarily a reasonable conclusion. We know Trump isn’t the only person tweeting to his account, so the overall similarity is something like a weighted average of the different people posting to the account. Maybe one of those ghost writers is the author of the op-ed, and if we could tease apart the different writers on the POTUS account we’d see an even greater similarity between one of them and the NYT piece.

  10. 10
    J R in WV says:

    Thanks for posting this, fascinating!

    I agree that using tweets to analyze against a formally written document that was no doubt edited for typos and punctuation isn’t the best most ideal data set… but what else could a U professor get his hands on nearly instantly?

    And of course the guilty/anonymous person may not be anywhere on the list of compared entities. What’s with analyzing cabinet offices, as opposed to individuals? But v. interesting even if not definitive!

    Carry on, Major^4!! Good job! I knew you could do it, expected it eventually, this was really prompt!! Thanks!!

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @Martin: Does that bring us back to Ayers?

  12. 12

    @Roger Moore: For sure; this isn’t something you’d try to publish. Also agree with you and @dmsilev that tweets, while the best available on short notice, are not the best possible comparison source.

    It’s also true that these Twitter accounts are mostly ensemble productions, but secretaries/departments tend to have distinct voices. (This is perhaps less true right now, since everybody has to pretend to be a loudmouthed idiot boor.)

    I too suspect a speechwriter or top advisor to a non-Trump.

  13. 13
    khead says:

    Commerce? I had nothing to do with it.

  14. 14
    🎈🥤 says:

    Obvious candidates like DNI Coates don’t tweet.

  15. 15

    @J R in WV: individuals are on there too if they have twitter accounts. See for instance that @VP has a strong correlation while @mike_pence has a much lower one.

  16. 16
    Starfish says:

    I think that they worked with the Tweets because those were the easiest bodies of written work that could be gotten by a professor. If these entities are posting on Facebook, maybe their Facebook postings would be longer than their Tweets and better for comparison? There might be work emails that could be FOIAed, but that would take a long time.

  17. 17
    gvg says:

    lately my employers latest word processing spell checker, has been pushing it’s idea of proper comma usage. I mostly go along with it except when it isn’t recognizing our internal abbreviations. There aren’t an infinite number of work processor programs. Most people use the helpful things computers do, so I really am not sure this is as helpful as the Professor thinks.
    I don’t remember commas bothering the typing programs as much a few years back.

  18. 18
    West of the Rockies says:

    @David Rickard:

    Wouldn’t such a person just rat-out the “traitors” in hopes of a cookie or second scoop of ice cream?

  19. 19
    West of the Rockies says:

    Feels like we’re getting into Keith Hernandez spitting on Neuman territory.

  20. 20
    David Fud says:

    It is very interesting to me that it is arguably empowering Trump to have had this happen. It allows for him to become more tyrannical and focus power more directly in only himself. It makes me wonder if it is someone writing from the VP’s office in collusion to manipulate the FTFNYT. Food for thought: most typical previous person dishing “anonymous” stories about DT: the man himself. It seems far fetched on the surface, but when you combine how stupid it is to publicly announce an internal cabal with how Trump has treated the press in the past (as in, a vehicle to manipulate in order to change perceptions, often with aliases), it seems that we should consider this to potentially be a communication with full approval from President Trump. I don’t think it truly makes sense otherwise.

    Seriously, we are saying how stupid these people are, but they aren’t this stupid. Arguably this is a very sophisticated strategy to increase power in the very small hands of Trump, allowing him to eventually “find” a traitor in his midst and publicly fire them, replacing them with who he wants. It plays into everything he knows about human nature after being on the Apprentice and learning how to craft a narrative in that setting. Calling Jeff Sessions, wanted in the Oval Office! Jeff, you might want to pack your stuff before you show up, with the cameras in your face.

  21. 21

    @gvg: comma usage is just an example of the more than 100 text features analyzed.

  22. 22
    dmsilev says:

    @Starfish: For the Cabinet level people, I’d start with transcripts of speeches as the feedstock.

  23. 23
    West of the Rockies says:

    @David Fud:

    I don’t see Trump needing some grand, manufactured reason to fire anyone other than perhaps Pence.

  24. 24
    David Fud says:

    @West of the Rockies: … And Jeff Sessions?

  25. 25
    cope says:

    And I say a googleplex squared number of angels can dance on the head of a pin.

  26. 26
    Jeffro says:

    You know…once it comes out who wrote it, it’ll be interesting to see who egged this person on…”yeah, that’s a GREAT idea! Show the whole world that there are some of us Koch-heads in here who just. don’t. appreciate. all the nonsense, you know?”

    REALLY interesting…

  27. 27
    JPL says:

    @West of the Rockies: He can’t fire Pence. Pretty sure Pence would need to be impeached.

  28. 28
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @gvg: MS has appointed itself the guardians of proper English with their latest version of Word.

  29. 29
    Mary G says:

    Thanks for showing it blown-up, because I couldn’t read the labels on Twitter and was confused as to what the red and blue represented.

  30. 30
    guachi says:

    I like the large difference between the Mike Pence and VP Twitter accounts. Fits with the idea that it’s someone from the VP’s office. A conservative in the administration who doesn’t directly work for the President.

  31. 31
    Martin says:

    @JPL: Possibly. Hard to say. Org charts expand geometrically as you go down, so against 24 cabinet member we have well over 100 aides, undersecretaries, and so on. Most of whom we don’t really know. They’re still largely front and center to the show but they’re also the guys that actually make the paper move, so they’re in a position to lose a file or make sure a document doesn’t get somewhere. I’m one of those people in my organization. I’m the top paper pusher. I set a lot of policy but there’s even more that I simply implement and I have a lot of discretion how to do that. If something is supposed to happen that I feel would be detrimental to the organization, I can usually make it not happen either through political maneuvering or through burying it in a drawer.

    Staffers are routinely underestimated. I don’t care how good your ideas are, a bad staffer will kill them, and a good staffer will make you look like Edison. We carry more authority than the leaders inside certain quarters, and our lack of public presence is often an asset. Overlook us and we’ll destroy your organization from the inside out. And because its routine to overlook us, when we do blow the whistle, it can be pretty hard to figure out who did it because there’s so little of that kind of activity you see out of us to do the kind of correlation above. What does my public voice sound like? None of the people I work for or the people who work for me have ever seen it.

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    Major Major Major Major:

    The line at the top shows, of course, a 1.0 correlation with the op-ed itself. The next-highest are the Twitter accounts for the Vice President, Trump (who we can discount) …

    But can we really? Rule out Trump?

    Are we sure Trump doesn’t have multiple personality disorder? Maybe it was written by David Dennison, or John Baron, or John Miller, or …?

    Or maybe Trump just manufactured it himself, so he’d have something to tweet about and portray himself as a victim. He could have easily gotten one of his cowed toadies (can a toad be cowed?) to deliver it to the Times.

  33. 33

    @guachi: @VP is an insanely contrived imitation of Trump that sounds nothing like Pence. It’s sad almost, in the way that everything Pence does is sad almost.

    @JGabriel: fair point; I meant ruling out the man himself, since we’re looking at actual authorship.

  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    So loving the Judiciary Democrats:

    KAMALA HARRIS: “Can you think of any laws that give the government the power to make decisions about the male body?”BRETT KAVANAUGH: “I’m not—I’m not think of any right now, senator.”— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) September 6, 2018

    They have stopped bringing a knife to a gun fight. Love the bold releasing of documents today.

  35. 35
    the Conster says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    LOL. Funny you should mention Keith Hernandez, since his name is popping up all over today thanks to this fail parade of nonsense, courtesy of the DSA.

  36. 36
    D58826 says:

    Somewhat off topic but they are talking about THE OP-ED. So what happens if the system moves toward impeachment or the 25th amendment, does any one think that Der Fuhrer and his 40% base will go quietly into the good night?

  37. 37
    TenguPhule says:

    I was told there would be no math on this blog.

  38. 38
    Jeffro says:

    @D58826: the only way it moves towards impeachment or 25th amendment is if roughly 1/3 of the Senate Republicans or a majority of Trumpov’s cabinet (respectively) look like they’re going to support Trumpov’s removal. I’m not seeing that happen right now but hoo boy if it does we go straight to the long-awaited GOP civil war and then it most DEFINITELY – per Betty’s phrase – is time for Alexa to order ALL the popcorn.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    the only way it moves towards impeachment or 25th amendment is if roughly 1/3 of the Senate Republicans or a majority of Trumpov’s cabinet (respectively) look like they’re going to support Trumpov’s removal.

    Errrr…don’t you mean “don’t” support his removal? Because 1/3 of the Senate can revoke the 25th.

  40. 40
    D58826 says:

    @Jeffro: Oh I agree that the GOP will not support removal at this point. They are terrified of Der Fuhrer’s twitter account and the base..

  41. 41
    hueyplong says:

    I want to read about Trump stroking out. Surely he was dictating something to Maggie at the time. Where is my story?

  42. 42

    @D58826: @Jeffro: sometimes all you can do is attempt to treat the symptoms.

  43. 43
    Leto says:

    @Martin:

    What does my public voice sound like? None of the people I work for or the people who work for me have ever seen it.

    Give me an oscilloscope, or a spectrum analyzer, and I can fix that! /s

    Also reminds me of the Ghostbuster line, “Shhhh, listen… do you smell that?”

  44. 44
    I'll be Frank says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Control the Coma, control the World. It’s the MSFT way.

  45. 45
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @D58826:

    Somewhat off topic but they are talking about THE OP-ED. So what happens if the system moves toward impeachment or the 25th amendment, does any one think that Der Fuhrer and his 40% base will go quietly into the good night?

    Think Star Wars fanbois; right now the Deplorables love Trump because Trump makes liberals cry. But if “Dumb-ass Donny, the senile childish, pervert twit” sets in as conventional wisdom Trump will be dead to the Deprorables. The Base don’t like Trump for his policies, they like Trump for image he projects.

  46. 46
    Это курам на смех says:

    Bill Ayers wrote the op-ed? I knew Obama must have something to do with this.

  47. 47

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Alexandra Petri of the WaPost is terrific today. I am the Real Resistance ….

    … I am resisting more than any of you, in your hats with your signs.

    You may ask: Is President Trump a threat to this country and all that it stands for?

    Absolutely. Yes.

    We are all continually traumatized. I don’t know how we are going to get through each week.

    Trump is completely amoral. Furthermore, he has the memory of a gnat that has recently stunned itself by flying into a windshield. Furthermore, during Cabinet meetings, he is often to be found asking embarrassingly basic questions about things such as What Is The Federal Reserve, Though? and Why Can’t We Just Assassinate People? and Why Are We in Afghanistan, Again? (Unlike his predecessors, wise and sensible men, he would not take “just because” as a suitable answer to the third question.)

    … We leave every meeting having aged eight years. Horror turns our faces even whiter than usual (and they started off pretty white). I entered this administration a comparatively young man/woman; now I am broken and bent with sorrow, and my liver is giving out. Everything he says terrifies me. Every day he could usher in World War III. We tell him this, and it is like water off the back of a duck that has access to the nuclear codes.

    I would like to publish this in a newspaper so that someone will read it and feel that there is a steady hand on the tiller, sometimes, except when obviously there isn’t.

    …. But the point is, do not worry.

    I am here, and I am secretly in charge, kind of, I hope, except when the president takes any action on the public stage over which I have no control, which is quite often, but not ALL the time. That is my point. Sometimes, the administration does something that I would like it to do, and we should all cling to that, like a mariner to a floating sign post that says “IMMIGRANTS NOT WELCOME AND LOOK AT ALL THIS DEREGULATION.”

    …. The president is completely venal and displays all the worst excesses of the Bad Popes but also Henry VIII during his worst years. He is surrounded by spiders and wolves and other large predators. But I am also there! That is what I am trying to get at. I am there too, which should reassure you.

  49. 49
    rikyrah says:

    @trollhattan:

    Note to students of Professor Michael W. Kearney: Do not even think of plagiarizing for your assignments and tests for his class. That is all.

    I know…

    BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA

  50. 50
    Martin says:

    @Leto: And how do you know that every person I work for and who works for me is hearing-enabled, or did you just assume that? It’s people like you that make is so hard for individuals who aren’t perfect little J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs. What else do you assume – their race? gender? immigration status? sexual orientation? lactose tolerance? Start being part of the solution, man!

    (Yeah, that post could have used an editor. Everyone I work with hears fine, and none are lactose intolerant.)

  51. 51
    D58826 says:

    MSNBC is reporting that Burt Reynolds has died

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    RIP, Burt Reynolds.

  53. 53
    janesays says:

    Burt Reynolds, dead at 82. Sad. He was great in Boogie Nights.

  54. 54

    @TenguPhule:

    Errrr…don’t you mean “don’t” support his removal? Because 1/3 of the Senate can revoke the 25th.

    No, support is correct. You can get to 2/3 of the Senate with all the Democrats (47), the two independents (2), and 18 of the 51 Republicans, which is just over 1/3. That’s assuming McConnell would even allow a vote if he were in the 2/3 who opposed.

  55. 55
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh

    Academy Retreats on ‘Popular’ Oscar Category for Now
    Kristopher Tapley

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its new planned “popular” Oscar “merits further study” and will not present the new category at the upcoming 91st Academy Awards.

    The organization stated that “while remaining committed to celebrating a wide spectrum of movies,” it recognized that implementing any new award nine months into the year “creates challenges for films that have already been released.”

    The AMPAS board of governors will continue to be actively engaged in discussions and will be seeking input regarding the category going forward.

    “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We have made changes to the Oscars over the years — including this year — and we will continue to evolve while also respecting the incredible legacy of the last 90 years.”

  56. 56
    rikyrah says:

    I loved the Smokey movies.

    Burt Reynolds, Movie Star Who Played It for Grins, Dies at 82

    Burt Reynolds, the charismatic star of such films as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit who set out to have as much fun as possible on and off the screen — and then wildly succeeded — has died. He was 82.

    Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination when he portrayed porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights (1997) and was the No. 1 box-office attraction for a five-year stretch starting in the late 1970s, died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical in Florida, according to manager Erik Kritzer.

    Always with a wink, Reynolds shined in many action films (often doing his own stunts) and in such romantic comedies as Starting Over (1979) opposite Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) with Dolly Parton, Best Friends (1982) with Goldie Hawn and, quite aptly, The Man Who Loved Women (1983) with Julie Andrews.

  57. 57
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: still have my copy of Cosmo (technically it was my mom’s first).
    Don’t tell Poco. He can be a bit judgemental.

  58. 58
    Quinerly says:

    @rikyrah: Best Little Whorehouse was great too. I also loved Evening Shade.

  59. 59
    dmsilev says:

    @rikyrah:

    “There has been a wide range of reactions to the introduction of a new award, and we recognize the need for further discussion with our members,”

    “Everyone told us it was a bloody stupid idea, using a wide range of put-downs and expletives in the process.”

  60. 60
    TenguPhule says:

    Trump inauguration crowd photos were edited after he intervened

    The photographer cropped out empty space “where the crowd ended” for a new set of pictures requested by Trump on the first morning of his presidency, after he was angered by images showing his audience was smaller than Barack Obama’s in 2009.

    The detail was revealed in investigative reports released to the Guardian under the Freedom of Information Act by the inspector general of the US interior department. They shed new light on the first self-inflicted crisis of Trump’s presidency, when his White House falsely claimed he had attracted the biggest ever inauguration audience.

    Even after editing it to make it look bigger, Trump was still inadequate compared to Obama.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @rikyrah: Look, this shit is hard. How do you reconcile the Academy’s need to ignore black artists while still recognizing the popularity of their work? You act like there is some simple, obvious answer here.

  62. 62

    In other news, India decriminalized gay sex.

  63. 63
    Quinerly says:

    “If I had to put only one of my movies in a time capsule, it would be Deliverance,” Reynolds wrote. “I don’t know if it’s the best acting I’ve done, but it’s the best movie I’ve ever been in. It proved I could act, not only to the public but me.”
    RIP Burt Reynolds

  64. 64
    The Ancient Randonneur says:

    @TenguPhule:

    He’s probably heard “size matters” enough times to feel insecure.

  65. 65
    TenguPhule says:

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a team of South Korean envoys that he continues to trust Trump and said he hoped to achieve the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula while Trump is in office, the chief envoy said Thursday.

    Trump responded on Twitter by expressing his appreciation.

    “Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in Trump,’” Trump tweeted. “Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!”

    That is some grade A trolling by NK right there.

  66. 66
    dmsilev says:

    @TenguPhule:

    first self-inflicted crisis of Trump’s presidency

    There have been so so many.

  67. 67
    Doug R says:

    @Major Major Major Major: So VP account has a higher correlation than Pence, eh?
    Maybe a Pence senior staffer trying to get the dense one in trouble. Two idiots with one Stone, as it were.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    @rikyrah: Ah, that’s a shame. Always liked Burt Reynolds. He did not seem to take himself too seriously, and improved what he appeared in. RIP.

  69. 69
    NotMax says:

    Expecting to derive useful data from a bunch of twits is an exercise in futility.

  70. 70
    mdblanche says:

    Well isn’t this a fun parlor game.

  71. 71
    TenguPhule says:

    Richard DeVos, billionaire co-founder of Amway and GOP financial supporter, dies at 92

    Via Wapo.

    Took Satan long enough to collect him.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    BIG FLAG: #Kavanaugh just called birth control “abortion-inducing drugs”

    — Erica Sackin (@ericajanes) September 6, 2018

  73. 73
    Bess says:

    The oped could have been written by a committee of two or more.

    It could have been written by one or more people clever enough to do a word/style analysis in order to cover their tracks.

    It could have been written by one or more people whose names we have never heard. For example, people in the EPA who were working hard to keeps Pruitt’s damage down to a minimum.

    But, what does it matter? Why should we get distracted by looking for the author? The Beast in the Oval Office deserves all our concern.

  74. 74
    Leto says:

    @Martin: ;)

    That sucks about Burt. I loved the Smokey and Cannonball movies as a kid, but also just enjoyed the fact he seemed to be having fun on screen. It was what Adam Sandler attempted to do later (make movies with his friends, have a good time) just better.

  75. 75
    Elizabelle says:

    Don’t so far see Burt Reynolds obits in major papers.

    But FTF NYTimes reports Richard deVos has died at age 92.

  76. 76
    Quinerly says:

    @Leto: just read that Smokey and the Bandit was Hitchcock’s favorite movie of all time. 💙

  77. 77

    @Doug R: the use of the word ‘lodestar’ makes me pretty sure they’re signaling they’re a Pence staffer; accidentally tipping their hand as a Pence staffer; or framing a Pence staffer.

  78. 78
    TenguPhule says:

    Cruz also asked the judge about a case on which he worked as a lawyer in private practice in which he backed a high school’s decision to allow student-led prayers over the public address system at football games. He argued that students were delivering their own messages, not speaking on behalf of the school. The Supreme Court disagreed, finding the policy unconstitutional.

    “Religious people, speakers and speech are entitled to equal treatment,” Kavanaugh said Thursday.

    Ted Cruz is so stupid that he asked a question which brought up another issue against Kavanaugh.

    more of this please.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @dmsilev: No it is not. They should have used the transcripts of speeches and/or op-eds submitted under the actual names of these officials.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    makes me pretty sure they’re signaling they’re a Pence staffer; accidentally tipping their hand as a Pence staffer; or framing a Pence staffer.

    All of em, Katie.

  81. 81
    The Moar You Know says:

    Took Satan long enough to collect him.

    @TenguPhule: In my own personal experience, and take that for what little it is worth, mean, shitty people live very long lives.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Starfish: Or he could have gone here and just used the transcripts of the Vice President’s remarks:
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/search/?s=Vice+President+Pence

  83. 83

    @Adam L Silverman: yes, I should have included that under ‘caveats’, but nobody’s going to have collected all those at this date anyway. A dedicated team could probably have it by tonight/tomorrow, for the VP and cabinet at least.

  84. 84
    Elizabelle says:

    @Quinerly: That’s a bit hard to believe. Really?

    I’ve never seen it.

  85. 85
    Keith P. says:

    @Major Major Major Major: FYI, “lodestar of honor” was also used last week re: McCain by both Mike Bloomberg and Henry Kissinger.

  86. 86
    JPL says:

    @Quinerly: lol I sent my sister to buy it.

  87. 87
    StringOnAStick says:

    @rikyrah: Did anyone listen to Kavanaugh’s opening statement the first day? Where he used his family to show what a good, good guy he is and is the heaven’s gift to dad-coaching? It positively dripped with “I am more Catholic than the Pope” statements. He made it ultraclear (in code) that he’d consider it an honor to be the one who overturns Roe v. Wade. His calling birth control “abortion inducing drugs” in today’s hearing puts him in the most retrograde possible category; birth control pills prevent implantation of a fertilized egg so in his extremely Catholic mind, that’s abortion inducing. By that mindset, IUD’s qualify as well. I do hope the BS hippie I used to work with is going to be OK with no longer having any birth control method available to her other than a diaphragm or condoms, and no back up plan if/when that fails.

    On a positive note, watching Kamala Harris squeeze Kavanaugh hard over discussing the Mueller case with anyone at POTUS’s lawyer’s shop was a thing of steel-spined beauty. I grow more and more impressed with her by the day.

  88. 88
    Fair Economist says:

    There are 4 different accounts essentially tied for best match, so I think we can conclude this method is not very effective. Also too Trump’s account comes up and his personal writing is worlds apart from this. (This is in good English, for starters.)

  89. 89
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Took me 40 seconds to do a keyword search at whitehouse.gov to get Pence’s. Figure it’ll take me under 3 minutes at DOJ, DOS, DOD, DHS, etc. Some you won’t be able to get like a bunch for Kelly, because as COS he doesn’t make many public remarks, which, given his disastrous record giving public remarks, is probably a good thing. But within a 1/2 an hour or so, one could build a decent set for the analysis.

  90. 90
    Keith P. says:

    @Fair Economist: I would have some neural networks analyze the op-eds along with various published writings from staff members. The NN should be able to find more subtle correlations than humans can.

  91. 91

    Sheesh, I just thought it was fun.

    @Fair Economist: These are the @POTUS tweets, which are… rather different in character from @RealDonaldTrump.

    @Adam L Silverman: Then you have to load them into R character vectors of the form analyzed via textfeatures::textfeatures(). Kearney already had code to do this for tweets. I’m having a tricky time doing it for a single speech because of all the character escaping.

  92. 92
    JPL says:

    @Quinerly: Shortly before the Chicken Ranch was shut down, I was on my way to Austin from Florida and went by. I assumed they must have pretty good chicken, but promised to be at my friend’s place by eleven so just passed it by. They were busy! It wasn’t until arrived at their house and asked, that I was informed about it’s real purpose.

  93. 93
    Downpuppy says:

    Do you remember a silly book called Naked Came the Stranger?

    I figure 12 Young Republican staffers at Karaoke Night put it together in a Facebook group.

  94. 94
    Mary G says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was thinking that they should have used transcripts of speeches and appearances on Sunday shows, etc. for a much bigger and better sample. Even newspapers publish transcripts these days. Twitter-speak is just too limited and consultant-approved.

  95. 95
    Calouste says:

    @Keith P.: I’m of the theory that the op-ed was written to drive the shitgibbon up the wall (it’s very predictable that would happen), and the McCain praise is in there because it is the shitgibbon’s current irritation. Lodestar just ended up in there because someone used it at McCain’s funeral.

  96. 96
    trollhattan says:

    @StringOnAStick:
    As the old saying goes, “People who rely on the rhythm method are frequently referred to as ‘parents’.”

    Guessing this douche is one of those Catholics trying like hell to ignore Pope Frank entirely.

  97. 97
    trollhattan says:

    @TenguPhule:
    If we’ve been vewy, vewy good his daughter will be sufficiently distraught to quit her day job and go spend more time with her family, yachts and money.

  98. 98

    @Elizabelle: I read your link about Kamala Harris. It rings totally true, Indian mothers are a force of a nature. My mother could stop a tantrum by me or my brother by a raised eyebrow. My grandmother or even MIL are no different. They rule with an iron paw.

  99. 99
    lol chikinburd says:

    Steelport has lost its greatest mayor.

  100. 100
    bystander says:

    I’m convinced it’s Judith Miller and Dick Cheney. Otherwise Nikki Haley has more access to Times people in NYC and less scrutiny.

  101. 101

    @Adam L Silverman: @Mary G: If you want to get me those text files, I can run the same analysis pretty easily.

  102. 102
    Calouste says:

    @StringOnAStick: How many kids does Kavanaugh have again? Two, right? And how long has he been married?

    One thing I must give to Rick Santorum, at least he has 7 kids or so and lives the way he preaches in that regard.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    I still don’t care who wrote it, but I get why it’s fun for the data nerds to all nerd out with their nerd toys, so have at it, M^4!

  104. 104
    HeleninEire says:

    @Leto: Burt Reynolds was my first Hollywood crush. When I was 16 I won free tickets to the premier of Gator. Made my Dad bring me into Manhattan to see it.

    We sat in front of some move critics. There was a line in the movie where soemobe says something like “Gators belong in sewers” And one of the critics said “That’s were this movie belongs too.”

    At all of 16 I turned around to him and said “Don’t you dare write that tomorrow.”

    Dunno if he did it didn’t. Prolly he did.

  105. 105
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Just use one of the open source content analysis programs.

  106. 106

    @Mnemosyne: apparently I brought the wrong nerd toys to share though.

  107. 107
    sukabi says:

    @JPL: or indicted in a state for something, ie Agnew…

  108. 108
    Calouste says:

    @Calouste: Who wrote this is probably having a good laugh about everyone going off on a wild goose chase that they did not intend to be there.

  109. 109
    TenguPhule says:

    HARRIS: As a factual matter, can five Supreme Court justices overturn any precedent at any time if a case comes before them on that issue?

    KAVANAUGH: You start with a system of precedent that’s rooted in the Constitution …

    HARRIS: I know, but just as a factual matter, five justices, if in agreement, can overturn any precedent, wouldn’t you agree?

    KAVANAUGH: Senator, there’s a reason why the Supreme Court doesn’t do that.

    HARRIS: But do you agree that it can do that?

    KAVANAUGH: There are times, but there’s a series of conditions, important conditions that if faithfully applied make it rare …

    Kavanaugh is so full of shit.

  110. 110
    HeleninEire says:

    ETA: not fixing the typos without edit. Y’all know what I meant.

  111. 111
    bystander says:

    I had a professor whose work relied on recurrences of words and phrases. He posited that someone other than Balzac completed The Chagrin Skin on the change in vocabulary. His RAs hated the work so much that when the events of May 1968 happened they lodged their complaints by defecating in his files.

  112. 112
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    apparently I brought the wrong nerd toys to share though.

    You obviously have to build a fully working replica in Minecraft.

  113. 113

    The data suggests to me that the op-ed was written by a White House speech writer. Someone who prepares official tweets. That may be deceptive, because the event suggests to me that someone in the Court of the Citrus King is trying to take out a rival by pissing off His Spray Tannity and leaving some nuggets of blame.

  114. 114

    @TenguPhule: Here’s how to manipulate Minecraft worlds with R, I imagine you could use that to make the reverse…

  115. 115
    Mary G says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I don’t care enough about who it is to do any work!

    Scalzi has been writing essays on the last twenty years and today’s is presidents:

    So, let’s review the presidents we’ve had since 1998: A sexually harassing policy wonk, a genial imbecile, a malevolent imbecile, and Barack Obama.

    I don’t think we do presidents well.

    This assessment is bolstered by looking at the other five presidents who have been in office in my lifetime (in order, a crook, a placeholder, an ineffectual overthinker, an Alzheimer’s sufferer and George HW Bush, who was not my brand of politics but otherwise was perfectly middlin’, as far as presidents go). We could blame a lot of things for our generally less-than-excellent presidents, including the electoral college, low voter turnout relative to other countries, billionaires funding our political system, and the fact that we in general default to “when in doubt, vote for the guy you’d have a beer with” as a legitimate voting tactic. But after a while you have to suspect that the reason we don’t have great leaders is that we, or at least a large percentage of us, just plain don’t want them.

  116. 116
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Thank you. Still have to read the full article, but it looked good.

    Vogue magazine, April 2018: Kamala Harris is Dreaming Big

  117. 117
    Quinerly says:

    @JPL: 💚

  118. 118
    sukabi says:

    @D58826: his 40% base is among self identifying republicans. There is a shrinking number of people who identify as republican, this number gets smaller by the day. The polls treat the number of self identifying democrats and republicans as roughly equal in number. The media and population take the 40% and assume that 40% of Americans are his base, this is not remotely true.

  119. 119
    Quinerly says:

    @Elizabelle: referenced in the Hollywood Reporter piece.

  120. 120
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Yeah, that’s what a French Horn player said to the teacher in Music Theory 202. We all had a good laugh.

  121. 121
    veniceriley says:

    The op-ed is so strangely written though. It seems like it’s assembled by more than one person. They whole bit about meetings and flip-flopping and discussions amongst staff was a weird throw-in. As was the McCain bit. Plus the whole “lodestar for Pence, first principles for Mattis” I believe are misdirects.
    One volunteer with the right connection may have reached out to NYT, but I think more than one wrote it. hence all that WE shit in there.

  122. 122
    Haroldo says:

    @Bess: Yerp.

  123. 123
    Mary G says:

    Anne LaMott nails it:

    This is not resistance, it’s co-dependence—trying to manage the catastrophe of dad’s alcoholism. It keeps Dad from hitting bottom by helping him look less insane than he is, hiding the keys from him. It keeps the family boat afloat, when it needs to be sunk. This is collaboration https://t.co/mcOkULMeI4— ANNE LAMOTT (@ANNELAMOTT) September 5, 2018

    So, now I’m thinking Javanka. It would be hilarious if Melania came out and took credit for it.

  124. 124

    @Mary G: it’s not even codependency though; In that example Mom at least likes Dad.

  125. 125
    Jeffro says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Once in a meeting he became upset because I made a positive remark about John McCain, and we had to pretend that he had force-choked me to death. My limp form was carried out by aides. But fortunately the next day, he had forgotten, and I was able to keep my position. After Vice President Pence and his rabbit did something that bothered him, we told him that Pence had been sent to the cornfield. Sometimes I call his phone pretending to be the president of France so that he can yell at me and not our ally. He derailed the last meeting we had by making truck noises, and he would not stop even when asked nicely by several other senior officials who will also remain nameless.

    DYING HERE.

    I’m dyin’…

  126. 126
    JPL says:

    @Mary G: Melania already released a letter from her office. She’s very upset. hahahhahahaha

  127. 127

    @Mary G: Judge K is so full of shit. BC pills are prescribed for controlling painful periods, uncontrollable bleeding etc. Not just for birth control. I hate his mug, dude should go out in the sun sometime, he looks like a vampire or a ghost.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    What, you expected this to be the one thread in a million that stays on topic? The people who are interested in this particular nerd toy seem to be enjoying themselves talking about it, so I wouldn’t worry about the rest of us.

  129. 129

    I think DHS Barbie and her “mentor” and DHS predecessor are the joint authors of this shitty op-ed.

  130. 130
    Gin & Tonic says:

    OT, but I’ve heard reports of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Japan.

  131. 131
    Elizabelle says:

    @Quinerly: Turns out to be true! Hollywood Reporter comment attributed to Burt Reynolds. But:

    Alfred Hitchcock – “Smokey and the Bandit”

    It was after a screening of “Psycho” honoring the Master of Suspense at USC in November 2000 when Hitchcock’s daughter Patricia confirmed what some had heard offhand – that Hitch’s favorite movie was the massively popular but critically unbeloved 1977 Burt Reynolds backwoods chase flick. It wasn’t such a surprise for audience members aware of Hitchcock’s populist taste in general, his daughter saying in an interview before the screening, “He made his films for the audience and for entertainment – not for the critics or for self-pleasure.” To drive the point home, the other movie she namedropped as a favorite of the late director that night? “Benji.”

    It’s good Benji did not get all the love.

    Source: Seven Quirky Lowbrow Favorite Films of Highbrow Directors

    That would make a good open thread some time. What is our favorite lowbrow film? Get our minds off the trashy reality show we’re living through now.

    PS: also: please note the article’s correct use of “populist.”

  132. 132
    DHD says:

    It would be pretty irresponsible to conclude anything from this analysis. We can’t say if the features are salient, they seem to all be given equal weight, the data sources are less than ideal, etc.

    I don’t think the use of Twitter is inherently disqualifying; intuitively, especially since the 140-character limit was lifted, official tweets (I’m talking about ones from government offices, departments, etc) should be written in a fairly similar style to actual press releases, in particular since they are often just summaries of them.

    The biggest issue I see with the analysis is that (without knowing the specifics of how they are calculated) the features don’t seem to distinguish between content and style. So of course the op-ed doesn’t correlate with USDOT or the VA, because it doesn’t have the same topic distribution.

    This paper from COLING2018 (an excellent conference, by the way) may be relevant: http://aclweb.org/anthology/C18-1029

  133. 133

    @Mnemosyne: no, I was subtweeting (for lack of a better term) Adam.

  134. 134
  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    Yep. That’s why I occasionally refer to the orange menace as their Drunk Daddy. He’s pushing that instinctive codependent button hard for a lot of conservatives and journalists. It makes me wonder which of Maggie Haberman’s parents is the alcoholic in their family. 🤔

    And the “drunk daddy” of the family doesn’t have to be literal. I’m convinced that one of my sisters-in-law (not the narcissist) has Borderline Personality Disorder, and boy howdy has it distorted three generations of that family.

  136. 136
    TS (the original) says:

    @D58826:

    and the base

    I wonder more and more about the size of this base. There seem to be a volume of people that follow him from town to town going to the “lock her up” rallies, but not so many others who are over excited to attend. With polling dropping into the 30s half of those are probably people who vote republican because that is what they have done all their lives – who is the president and what are the policies are irrelevant. I would guess that base is less than 20% of the voting population – and falling every day.

  137. 137
    Keith P. says:

    @Elizabelle: I’ll add that one Christopher Nolan – “MacGruber”…he says it makes him laugh uncontrollably. Ditto.

  138. 138
    oatler. says:

    In the hearing, White Power Chick is running out of things to do with her hands.

  139. 139
    Elizabelle says:

    Fun article. From Mental Floss. 13 Fast Facts About Smokey and the Bandit

    (1) IT WAS BASED ON A REAL COORS BANQUET BEER PROBLEM.

    While [Director/stuntman Hal] Needham was in Georgia working as Reynolds’ stunt double in Gator (1976), the driver captain on the set brought some Coors beer from California and brought a couple of cases to Needham’s hotel room. After he noticed that the maid kept stealing the beers from the fridge, he remembered a TIME magazine article from 1974 about how Coors was unavailable east of the Mississippi River, because the beer was not pasteurized and needed constant refrigeration, and couldn’t legally be sold outside of 11 western and southwestern U.S. states. Which made him realize that, “bootlegging Coors would make a good plotline for a movie.”

    (2) BURT REYNOLDS’S FRIENDS BEGGED HIM NOT TO DO IT.

    Needham—who had been living in Reynolds’ pool house for 12 years (the two barely ran into each other due to their busy schedules)—presented his landlord and close friend with the script for Smokey and the Bandit, written on yellow legal pads. Reynolds told Needham that if he could get the money to shoot it, he’d star in it. The movie star’s friends, according to Reynolds in his autobiography, “got down on their knees with tears in their eyes and begged me not to do it.”

    Burt Reynolds passed on a lot of roles that made other actors into stars. Although who knows if he would have been with the production, once shooting started.

    I would guess our second run/art house cinema will run some Burt Reynolds movies before too long. We are in the South. Be fun to see them on a big screen.

  140. 140
    debit says:

    @oatler.: Any idea what was up with that note she passed him?

  141. 141
    Mary G says:

    @schrodingers_cat: He has those wet, flabby lips like a child molester, and he gives me the creeps, and he is so smarmy.

    You’re right about the Vogue article linked by @Elizabelle :

    …grandmother, who in the 1940s was known for driving through small Indian villages in a Volkswagen Bug, brandishing a bullhorn, and informing women about how to get birth control. “She was the purest form of the Harris women,” Harris says. “We’re all diluted versions of my grandmother.”

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I am more confused than ever. Oh well.

  143. 143
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle: I was in college when Coors was considered rare and exotic on the East coast, and one of my good friends at the time was from Pueblo, so every trip back home resulted in a prize for me. Pretty funny – now you’d have to pay me to drink that stuff.

  144. 144

    @Mnemosyne: he was complaining about the quality of the toys.

  145. 145

    @Frankensteinbeck: Classic mean girl tactic. Send a nastygram meant to look someone else sent it.

  146. 146
    James E Powell says:

    @sukabi:

    his 40% base is among self identifying republicans.

    No, his 40% floor is shown on 538. It’s not just Republicans. But I will suppose/guess this: a large share of “approval” for Trump is because they hate us. They hate liberals, African Americans, Latinos, women who want to be treated equally, LGBTQ, etc. far more than they love Trump. They only supported Trump because they knew he hated us as much as they do. They will never leave him because they will never stop hating us.

  147. 147
    The Lodger says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Back at the height of Coors mania in Philadelphia, a local magazine conducted a blind taste test between Coors and locally brewed Schmidt’s. Schmidt’s won.

  148. 148
    Elizabelle says:

    Breaking news banner on WaPost: Twitter says it has permanently banned Alex Jones and InfoWars.

    Barn door, meet horse.

  149. 149
    Patricia Kayden says:

    So has Kavanaugh lied and hemmed and hawed enough to give Collins pause? What about him referring to contraception as abortion pills? Collins could do the right thing but she won’t. Ditto Senator Murkowski.

  150. 150
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeah. Coors was supposed to be so delicious. But, meh …

    And do not get me started on Bud Lite. Water is to be preferred. Cool, clean water.

  151. 151
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I liked your Hot Fuzz reference on the earlier thread. “massive amounts of paperwork”

  152. 152

    @Mary G: My great grandmother raised 9 sons and two daughters and ran the family business of pearl fields
    after her husband died when she was in her 40s. My grandmother’s sister was one of Gandhi’s foot soldiers, she only wore handspun cotton sarees and no jewelry till she died in the 80s, even though she was a daughter of privilege. She was even imprisoned for protesting. Brits used to routinely torture political prisoners. People have died during those satyagrahas of concussion and head injuries. She was brave.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Burt Reynolds passed on a lot of roles that made other actors into stars.

    He still had a major career and was a big big star for a while. Early in his career, some thought he might be the successor to Marlon Brando.

    BTW, I recall reading that Tom Selleck had been in the running to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. I wonder what his career would have been like had he landed that role.

  154. 154
    debit says:

    @Elizabelle: Better late than never.

  155. 155
    trollhattan says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And do not get me started on Bud Lite. Water is to be preferred. Cool, clean water.

    This is most certainly true. However, for a Really Good Time–YUMMMMM.

    So. Very. Wrong.

  156. 156
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Elizabelle: Coors is a Republican anti-government/rebel talisman. Non-union and non pasturized.

  157. 157
  158. 158
    TS (the original) says:

    @StringOnAStick:

    Where he used his family to show what a good, good guy he is and is the heaven’s gift to dad-coaching? It positively dripped with “I am more Catholic than the Pope” statements. He made it ultraclear (in code) that he’d consider it an honor to be the one who overturns Roe v. Wade. His calling birth control “abortion inducing drugs”

    I believe he has 2 children – so someone in the family practices birth control – the catholic families I grew up with had a minimum 6 children – usually more. Then the birth control pill came along and all that changed.

  159. 159
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @D58826: Is his base as big as 40% of the population? I doubt it. I think we’re dealing with the middle 30’s.

  160. 160
    J R in WV says:

    @HeleninEire:

    At all of 16 I turned around to him and said “Don’t you dare write that tomorrow.”

    Did I hear somewhere you were Irish? ;-) sweet story, you’re a spunky woman! But we knew that already!!!

  161. 161
    trollhattan says:

    @Brachiator:
    Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones? Jeez, what a horrid thought. That would be like Loretta Swit starring in “Pretty Woman.”

  162. 162
    Elizabelle says:

    @trollhattan: Lime or orange might be OK. Not like the beer taste will be fighting with it.

    Is that actually good?

  163. 163
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I hope your family has done some good oral history interviews. How interesting and courageous.

  164. 164
    TS (the original) says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    BC pills are prescribed for controlling painful periods, uncontrollable bleeding etc.

    And every catholic who used them for this purpose was just amazed when they stopped having a baby every year.

    I agree they have a multitude of uses but the reality is they gave women a freedom they had never had before – and this is what people such as kavanaugh hate the most about both birth control pills and pregnancy termination – it allows women the same sexual freedom that they believe belongs only to those of the male gender.

  165. 165
    trollhattan says:

    @Elizabelle:
    I will never find out. The notion that Bud Light and Clamato can somehow meld two obnoxious substances into something I’d like is a stretch too far. I have seen it in AM-PM coolers, so somebody is putting it in their highway bags.

  166. 166
    J R in WV says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Yeah. Coors was supposed to be so delicious. But, meh …

    And do not get me started on Bud Lite. Water is to be preferred. Cool, clean water.
    Reply

    And Corona, water for people who don’t really like water.

  167. 167
    NotMax says:

    @trollhattan

    Don’t go knocking red beer. It’s tasty.

    Go ahead and knock Bud (or any other brand) Lite, that’s fully justifiable.

  168. 168
    Elizabelle says:

    @J R in WV: I used to like Corona. The lime makes it! Refreshing! But graduated to Dos Equis and Negro Modelo.

  169. 169
    Doug R says:

    @rikyrah: The real solution to the “popular” Oscar is just to expand the list to 10 films or so and throw 2-5 “popular” pictures in.

  170. 170
    Elizabelle says:

    @J R in WV: The old Tune Inn in Washington (before it burned down, but has been rebuilt) was famous for its National Bohemian. One of my friends asked for a Corona. The waitress never returned to the table.

  171. 171
    NotMax says:

    @trollhattan

    I like Clamato with a healthy dash of Worcestershire sauce stirred in. Would have it in the larder more often except it’s usually priced way beyond what my meager budget will allow.

    For red beer, V-8 couples quite well.

  172. 172

    @The Lodger:
    Coors brags about having the best water in the world, and they want you to be able to taste it.

  173. 173
    trollhattan says:

    @NotMax:
    We’re talking Clamato, not tomato juice, which has a certain role as an adjunct to greasy morning-after breakfasts. When you’re twenty-three.

    Here’s the ideal accompaniment to a refreshing Christmas-morning Bud-Light & Clamato.

  174. 174

    @Patricia Kayden:

    So has Kavanaugh lied and hemmed and hawed enough to give Collins pause?

    Of course not. There’s no amount of hemming, hawing, lying, cheating, or stealing that would convince her to vote against somebody who promises to be a reliable Republican vote on the Supreme Court. She’s a partisan hack who likes to play a thoughtful centrist as part of her reelection strategy.

  175. 175
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle: surely you meant to type “infamous”? That has to be the worst beer ever. Was $5.75 a case when I was in college. Yes, I drank a lot of it. One of many things I’m not proud of.

    Steve at Sea-Tac
    (T-shirt for sale here: “are you a beaver? Cuz dam!”)

  176. 176
    NotMax says:

    @Elizabelle

    Spaten (a brand of German lager) pairs beautifully with either lemon or lime.

    Although one does have look somewhat askance at Germany, as a popular mix there is beer plus banana liqueur.

    Trivia: Germany leads the world in per capita consumption of bananas.

  177. 177
    Elizabelle says:

    New thread? Burt Reynolds? Or Subaru Diane’s latest and greatest (reposting here from SC thread).

    THIS IS BY SIUBHAN DUINNE AKA SUBARU DIANE AKA MOB ENFORCER. She knows how to get those accent marks all slanting in the right direction.

    Song of an Anonymous White House Senior Official

    When I was just a volunteer
    I asked my mentor, “What will I be?
    Will I fetch coffee? Will I shine shoes?”
    Here’s what he said to me:

    “Coup d’état, d’état,
    Whatever will be, will be,
    With Times anonymity,
    Coup d’état, d’état.
    What will be, will be.”

    When I had stuck it out a year
    I asked my mentor, “What lies ahead?
    Will I write speeches, memos or briefs?”
    Here’s what my mentor said:

    “Coup d’état, d’état,
    Whatever will be, will be,
    With Times anonymity,
    Coup d’état, d’état.
    What will be, will be.”

    Now I’m a senior White House aide,
    Plotting to save the U. S. of A.,
    Secretly stealing, thwarting, and such —
    Here’s what I did today:

    Coup d’état, d’état,
    Whatever will be, will be,
    With Times anonymity,
    Coup d’état, d’état.
    What will be, will be.

  178. 178
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @The Lodger: Coors is a good Sunday morning beer.

  179. 179
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @NotMax: call me ein heretic, but I think Belgium has better beer than Germany. And better frites than France.

  180. 180
    NotMax says:

    @ Steve in the ATL

    Haven’t looked at Coors in ages. Presume they wised up and got rid of those silly double pushbutton tops on the cans.

  181. 181
  182. 182
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: You are just trolling now. Miller High Life is the beer that pairs with bloody Marys.

  183. 183
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in the ATL

    Haven’t sipped (nor gulped) a beer in at least 25 years. Use it occasionally in cooking or baking.

    As for Belgium, when it comes to wheat beers, in agreement with you. Also too, waffles.

  184. 184
    Brachiator says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Song of an Anonymous White House Senior Official

    When I was just a volunteer
    I asked my mentor, “What will I be?
    Will I fetch coffee? Will I shine shoes?”
    Here’s what he said to me:

    “Coup d’état, d’état,
    Whatever will be, will be,
    With Times anonymity,
    Coup d’état, d’état.
    What will be, will be.”

    Love this. I can’t come up with anything nearly as complete, but a couple of variants quickly occurred to me.

    The Op Ed Coup

    I wonder, wonder who, who-oo-ooh, who
    (Who wrote the Op Ed “Coup”)
    Tell me, tell me, tell me
    Oh, who wrote the Op Ed “Coup”
    I’ve got to know the answer
    Was it someone from above
    (I wonder, wonder who, mmbadoo-ooh, who)
    (Who wrote the Op Ed “Coup”)

    And, with apologies to Stevie Nicks

    Just like the White House snitch
    Sings a song
    Sounds like he’s singing
    Coup coup coup
    Just like the Right wing spook
    Sings a song
    Sounds like he’s singing
    Trump crazy Trump sad oh…

  185. 185
    debbie says:

    I’d have loved to see a few Fox twitterers, like Hannity, analyzed along with WH staff.

  186. 186
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Old Natty Boh! (My daughter lives in Baltimore, a short walk from Brewer’s Hill.)

  187. 187
    trollhattan says:

    @Steve in the ATL:
    We have a couple places who can get Belgians–especially the abbys–fresh on tap and some are simply amazing. So much going on with the flavors from those crazy yeasts they have. And hard to replicate, although a few American and Canadian brewers manage very well.

  188. 188
    debbie says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Blue Moon with an orange slice is nice in the summertime.

  189. 189
    Elizabelle says:

    @Brachiator: Sending up the Subaru Diane batsignal. She will love those!

    That could be a thread. While those of us who drink sip whatever beers or potables we have in the house.

  190. 190
    Elizabelle says:

    @debbie: Yes. Yum. And I like Shock Top too.

  191. 191
    TenguPhule says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Miller High Life is the beer that pairs with bloody Marys.

    You don’t buy Millers, You just rent it.

  192. 192
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: Spaten has several varieties. The one that goes really well with lemon is the weissbier (made from wheat instead of barley.)

  193. 193
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Also too, waffles.

    Considering how much butter and sugar go into them it would be a bigger surprise if they didn’t taste superior.

  194. 194
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle: I’m currently drinking Delta Airlines wine, so maybe I shouldn’t judge anyone too harshly.

  195. 195
    TenguPhule says:

    Kavanaugh refused to repudiate what Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) described as Trump’s “blatant, craven and repeated attacks” on the federal judiciary.

    Blumenthal was referring to Trump’s criticism that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “has embarrassed us all” and “her mind is shot.” Ginsburg had been critical of Trump, prompting him to make the comments on Twitter during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Kavanaugh took a pass, saying he did not want to “get within three Zip codes” of such a political controversy.

    shitshow continues.

    Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) followed up, suggesting that the judge was resisting any criticism of Trump.

    Kavanaugh disagreed. As a judge, he said, “We stay out of politics, we don’t comment on comments made by politicians.”

    Lying liar lies.

  196. 196

    @TenguPhule: they also use a different kind of sugar.

  197. 197
    TenguPhule says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I’m currently drinking Delta Airlines wine, so maybe I shouldn’t judge anyone too harshly.

    Complimentary or did you actually pay to drink it?

  198. 198
    NotMax says:

    Probably opening myself up to derision but when did drink beer, a preferred bottled brand was Molson. Of course, back in the Mesozoic Age the choices of brands at the supermarket or distributor were significantly fewer than today. Rare to find on the east coast back then, if Anchor Steam showed up that was a go-to.

    @debbie

    Costco sells sausages made with Blue Moon wheat lager and bits of orange.

  199. 199
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Costco sells sausages made with Blue Moon wheat lager and bits of orange.

    They taste like sausages with bits of orange in them. Not sure why the beer was added beyond branding.

  200. 200

    @Steve in the ATL:

    call me ein heretic, but I think Belgium has better beer than Germany.

    This is conventional wisdom among beer snobs.

  201. 201
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @TenguPhule: I’m sitting in row 2 so complimentary. I wouldn’t pay for this swill!

    Yeah, I would.

  202. 202
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Might be tasty. They have to serve something lively, so that you can taste it at that altitude!

    Re National Bo at the Tune Inn: infamous. Notorious. Went great with the burgers and fries. And they had jackalopes (?) over the bathroom doors. Hope those were not too damaged by the fire.

    These days, the Tune Inn mostly serves … Republicans. Le sigh.

  203. 203
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve always heard that Miller High Life is what to use if one makes beer and cheese soup.

  204. 204
    TenguPhule says:

    Following questions on Wednesday night and again Thursday morning, Kavanaugh was again pressed about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe, which could eventually make its way before a Supreme Court featuring Kavanaugh as a member.

    Blumenthal asked Kavanaugh if he had ever discussed the investigation with anyone, and Kavanaugh echoed his earlier remark in saying: “I’ve had no inappropriate discussions with anyone.

    Blumenthal followed that by asking if the judge had ever discussed the investigation with anyone, whether appropriately or inappropriately. Kavanaugh acknowledged that it had come up — “If you’re walking around in America it’s coming up, senator” — but he also repeatedly emphasized that he never crossed any lines in discussing it.

    “I’ve never suggested anything about my views about anything, commitments, foreshadowing, I’ve had no inappropriate discussions,” he said.

    Blumenthal then pivoted to asking if Kavanaugh had discussed it with anyone in the White House, including Donald McGahn, the White House counsel seated behind Kavanaugh during the hearings. When Blumenthal asked Kavanaugh if he had discussed the probe with McGahn or anyone else in the White House, calling it a yes or no question, Kavanaugh said: “I’m not remembering any discussions like that.””

    Kavanaugh has had inappropriate discussions about Mueller.

  205. 205
    Elizabelle says:

    @NotMax: Molson was good. I mostly keep Yuengling on hand; it’s amber and gentle on the wallet. Even though the owner is a prick. (Who knows, maybe even he is sick of Trump by now. Anyhow, good brew.)

  206. 206
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’ve always heard that Miller High Life is what to use if one makes beer and cheese soup.

    Beer bread, maybe.

  207. 207
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @TS (the original):

    I agree they have a multitude of uses but the reality is they gave women a freedom they had never had before – and this is what people such as kavanaugh hate the most about both birth control pills and pregnancy termination – it allows women the same sexual freedom that they believe belongs only to those of the male gender.

    I think your giving these idiots way to much credit, the anti-abortion trip was hijacked by the Evangeicals as cover for their tax scams. Anti-Abortion is merely a Purity marker in the Game of Thrones the Conservatives are playing with each other. If what Josh at TMP said about Kavanaugh is correct kavanaugh was raised to consider the Pill Morally wrong and not question or talk about the why on it less he does something horrific and starts thinking, ends up with Liberal cooties.

    I mean otherwise, seriously, what kind of sane man would ban something that makes his wife happier during her period? I am pretty sure no guy, not even someone was twisted as Mark Pence, wants to be chase down the street by a woman waving a knife and screaming “You did this to me you rat bastard and here’s payback!” while clutching her stomach.

  208. 208
    Mary G says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I always knew it theoretically, but you have got me much more woke about the British. I love the baking show, but every time they show the stately home with the ducks and lambs and acres of green grass and trees, I don’t enjoy it the way I used to, because I think about all the coal miners in Wales and the entire population of India that had to live in grinding poverty under the boot so that one family could be a fairy tale.

  209. 209
    NotMax says:

    @Elizabelle

    These days, the Tune Inn mostly serves … Republicans.

    Tartare or burnt to a crisp?

  210. 210
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ot would work for that too.

  211. 211
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle: 60% cab, 40% Syrah. A change from the Wente that they served until a few weeks ago, and to me a curious blend.

  212. 212
    debbie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The best beer to use to boil shrimp in is Budweiser.

  213. 213
    NotMax says:

    @Mnemosyne

    I’ve always heard that Miller High Life is what to use if one makes beer and cheese soup.

    Only if the cheese is Velveeta.

    If one is going to prepare a pot of swill, may as well go whole hog.

    :)

  214. 214
    Anotherlurker says:

    @YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S): In 1977, Coors successfully busted their Union. Unions retaliated by getting un-pasturized beer banned in 39 States. In 2016 Coors was merged with Molson, to form MolsonCoors.
    For the most part, their breweries are organized, except for Golden, Co.

  215. 215
    TenguPhule says:

    Police search home of couple accused of squandering $400,000 raised for a homeless veteran

    hortly after sunrise Thursday, authorities backed a tow truck onto Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico’s property and hauled away a recently purchased BMW — a shiny black symbol of just how much their six-figure fundraising campaign to help a homeless veteran had soured into accusations of something much worse.

    The BWW, that homeless man now asserts, was purchased with part of the more than $400,000 the couple raised on GoFundMe with a heartwarming story about a down-and-out veteran who used his last $20 to help a woman in need and her attempt to get the Good Samaritan off the streets.

    Last week, Johnny Bob­bitt filed a law­suit against the New Jer­sey couple, al­leg­ing that they with­held most of the mon­ey and spent it on va­ca­tions, gam­bling and a lux­u­ry car. A judge gave McClure and D’Amico until this past Monday to hand over the remain­ing funds, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. But a day af­ter the dead­line, an attorney for Bob­bitt said there was no mon­ey left to sur­ren­der.

    I expect more of this to occur in this age of shameless grifting.

  216. 216
    Steeplejack says:

    @trollhattan:

    Okay, you just made me fix myself a margarita.

  217. 217
    Elizabelle says:

    @NotMax: Does not matter to me, because they are not on the menu in any form!

  218. 218
    J R in WV says:

    @Roger Moore:


    Coors brags about having the best water in the world

    Good friend worked for the government on water quality issues in Colorado, NM, state like that. The beautiful creeks coming down out of those beautiful mountains are all — ALL — contaminated with heavy metals from those romantic gold mines. Larry won’t touch Coors, never has, since he saw the water tests from that mountain spring water.

    I’ve visited Super Fund sites in the National Forests, amazing work underway, but a bandaid on cancer. Don’t drink water-based fluids from the Rocky Mountains folks!

  219. 219
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax:

    Only if the cheese is Velveeta.

    If one is going to prepare a pot of swill, may as well go whole hog.

    Velveeta is good! For pasta and fudge.

  220. 220

    @NotMax: Molson is UCLA’s place kicker, yes he’s related to the beer folk.

  221. 221
    NotMax says:

    @Steve in ATL

    Wine labels ought to be more like polls.

    55% cabernet, 40% syrah, 5% don’t know/undecided.

    :)

  222. 222
    remima says:

    @Major Major Major Major: This is probably too late, but the documentation is confusing. Is it not possible to install on MacOS or Raspberry Pi? My kid might be interested in this if those are options.

  223. 223

    @J R in WV:

    Don’t drink water-based fluids from the Rocky Mountains folks!

    A large portion of North America would like a word.

  224. 224
    Steeplejack says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Natty Boh! I just like saying that. And when I see it I order it because of that (at a suitably downmarket establishment).

  225. 225
    J R in WV says:

    @TS (the original):

    I believe he [Kavanaugh] has 2 children – so someone in the family practices birth control…

    Or perhaps he just doesn’t ever get to have sex, or doesn’t care for it much. Abstinence IS a great birth control method, just not popular!

  226. 226
    NotMax says:

    @TenguPhule

    and fudge

    Oh Loo-cee, you got some ‘splainin to do!

  227. 227
    Anotherlurker says:

    @Roger Moore: When I worked at Cagney’s Pub, Old Man Cagney came in and asked about the new product that his Son had added, Coors. OMC asked me to put hin a pint. I complied. He took one sip, grimaced, and asked me to pour it out and pour him a Guinness (Mother’s Milk was his term) and a shot of Jamison (The Good Booze). I remarked that, apparently, Coors was not to his liking. He described it as “Its like makin’ love in a canoe” (pause) “its fuc@ki#g near water”.

  228. 228
    Doug R says:

    @Elizabelle:

    That would make a good open thread some time. What is our favorite lowbrow film? Get our minds off the trashy reality show we’re living through now.

    I was impressed by one of Burt’s director turns in Sharky’s Machine.

  229. 229
    Miss Bianca says:

    @J R in WV: err…our water comes from snowmelt running down off the mountains behind our house. They’ve never been mined, that I’m aware of. Water purity level is pretty good, but there is sediment that needs to get filtered out.

  230. 230
    Steeplejack says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    I hear their ’16 Tallapoosa Chardonnay is quite nice.

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

    @the Conster:

    Requests for comment on Salazar’s arrest history were sent early this morning to both Salazar’s campaign address and her deputy campaign manager. Email tracking software indicates that both requests were read multiple times within an hour of receipt, and in the hours following, but no response was received.*

    The best part

  232. 232
    Elizabelle says:

    @Doug R: And he directed some episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents?

    Had not been aware of his work as a director. Also, it seems that some of his work that did not get critical raves stands up pretty well. (Some of it might be dreck.) But he worked with some good casts …

  233. 233
    NotMax says:

    @Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)

    That’s some darn sophisticated tracking software if it can be determined the e-mail was read and not merely opened.

  234. 234
    Groucho48 says:

    So, ABC coverage. Quoted Pence, quoted Sarah Sanders, quoted Corker, quoted Trump, quoted Fox News. Quoted Melania. It was focused completely on who did it. No discussion at all of the contents.

    BTW, Corker was, basically…pffft, everyone knows this, anyway. No discussion of what “this” is.

  235. 235
  236. 236
    NotMax says:

    FYI.

    Twitter has banned the InfoWars network’s account, and the account of the network’s founder Alex Jones, multiple outlets reported Thursday. Previously, the website had merely temporarily suspended Jones. Source

  237. 237

    @Anotherlurker:
    Anyone who’s followed them knows the Coors family are long-time members of the crazy right-wing gang. They’ve been a baleful influence on Colorado politics for ages.

  238. 238
    Elizabelle says:

    @the Conster: Jebus. And then filing a harrassment claim and having your victim have to settle it because she was battling cancer.

    I hope Salazar goes down in flames, soonest. How do people run with stuff like that in their backgrounds? It’s a real issue.

  239. 239
    El Caganer says:

    Any of the suds drinkers here fans of Troegs in Hershey, PA? Loved Pennsylvania, but that place is what I miss most since I moved to Florida. I’m obviously biased, but I think they make the best beer in America.

  240. 240
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Bess:

    It could have been written by one or more people clever enough to do a word/style analysis in order to cover their tracks.

    But, what does it matter? Why should we get distracted by looking for the author? The Beast in the Oval Office deserves all our concern.

    All these are true, and there are additional possibilities depending on the level of verification that the NYTimes used and other perhaps other things.
    The issue for me is motive. For instance, if authorship is sufficiently disguised and it was deliberate, the Inquisition[0] that DJTrump initiates would eventually (sooner rather than later) feel the need to strap everyone in the administration who hasn’t resigned yet into the polygraph chairs, the ones with extra, (active) electrodes. (Metaphorically, you cruel cruel minds!! :) ) And perhaps some people outside the administration. This would have consequences. (Which I have not even attempted to model.) And the consequences might be intended, if the op-ed author(s) is(are) smart enough.
    (e.g. as you point out, regardless of the motive, it may be possible to play this to break Trump, and perhaps the administration, and lesser perhaps, a big swath at the top of the Republican Party. I’m presuming that there is a high probability that the author will do a reveal at some point in the near future, or get caught.)
    [0] For sci-fi people, this being the DJTrump administration, probably not Truthsayers (Dune).

  241. 241
  242. 242
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Bill Arnold:
    Truthsayers (Dune).
    (An extra quote mark. I need a markup previewer. Does anyone know of a good one?)

  243. 243

    @TS (the original): Are you a man by any chance? BC pills literally saved my life when I was bleeding uncontrollably. If not for BC pills I would have had to have emergency surgery. So thanks for mansplaining what BC pills do.

  244. 244
    Anotherlurker says:

    @Roger Moore: They certainly have! I looked up the upper mgt. of Coors and it appears that there are no family involved in day to day operations.

  245. 245

    @Elizabelle: These are just my recollections. I am writing them down. I am going interview my older relatives. And my grandma’s sister was not an exception. I had a friend whose grandmother was also a Gandhian activist. Mahatma Gandhi galvanized the entire nation, even daughters from “respectable” families. And now Modi’s party is shitting on that legacy.

  246. 246

    @Mary G: India was one of the richest countries in the world before the British came to “civilize” it. And now its synonymous with poverty.

  247. 247
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Glad you are writing on the subject. It’s a whole world I know nothing of.

    History’s lessons never stay learned.

  248. 248

    @Mary G: ETA and the parts which were under the British rule the longest are the poorest, eastern India with (Bengal, Bangladesh, Orissa ) suffered 200+ years under British rule, East India Company and then direct crown rule.

  249. 249
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Czech Republic has better beer than either. And cheaper.

  250. 250
    Tehanu says:

    @Calouste:

    @StringOnAStick: How many kids does Kavanaugh have again? Two, right? And how long has he been married?

    As the saying goes, I wouldn’t screw that creep with Ann Coulter’s dick. His wife probably has a lot of headaches.

  251. 251
    Doug R says:

    Mueller?

  252. 252
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Natty Boh, hon!

    You scoff, but consider: Some years back a young friend from Sunderland UK – who grew up on Newcastle Brown Ale – spent a few days with me in Baltimore. Ran him around the bars, had him try all the US brews. His favorite? Natty Boh!

  253. 253
    Steeplejack says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Little-known fact: it’s okay to use “Czechia” now.

  254. 254
    mere mortal says:

    “Trump (who we can discount)”

    This is not necessarily true. We understand that Trump does not write all of his tweets, so a correlation with Trump, coming through the noise from actual Trump, points pretty strongly to whomever is writing his non-5am rants.

Comments are closed.