Saturday Morning Open Thread: “The Obama Presidential Library That Isn’t”

The public book repositories that were such an important part of so many of our childhoods have changed considerably since the days when Maurice Sendak was best known for illustrating Else Minarik’s Little Bear easy readers. Our little New England industrial town is on the point of reopening a new, totally redesigned library that will feature (along with much improved access to books & magazines) “… our new video gaming setup… 3D printers, laser cutter, and laptop vending machine in the Makerspace… our business center [where] the scanner can translate the text on a scrap of paper into over 50 different languages… “

And the New York Times knows this, which is why the headline is more than a little disingenuous, but it’s still a great read:

The Obama Presidential Center promises to be a presidential library like no other.

The four-building, 19-acre “working center for citizenship,” set to be built in a public park on the South Side of Chicago, will include a 235-foot-high “museum tower,” a two-story event space, an athletic center, a recording studio, a winter garden, even a sledding hill.

But the center, which will cost an estimated $500 million, will also differ from the complexes built by Barack Obama’s predecessors in another way: It won’t actually be a presidential library.

In a break with precedent, there will be no research library on site, and none of Mr. Obama’s official presidential records. Instead, the Obama Foundation will pay to digitize the roughly 30 million pages of unclassified paper records from the administration so they can be made available online.

And the entire complex, including the museum chronicling Mr. Obama’s presidency, will be run by the foundation, a private nonprofit entity, rather than by the National Archives and Records Administration, the federal agency that administers the libraries and museums for all presidents going back to Herbert Hoover.

The plan was revealed, with little fanfare, in May 2017. Few details of the digitization were made public until Tuesday, when the foundation and the archives unexpectedly released a legal agreement outlining procedures for creating what is being billed as “first digital archives for the first digital president,” which they say will democratize access.

But as awareness of the plan has spread, some historians see a threat to future scholarship on the Obama administration — and to the presidential library system itself…

Timothy Naftali, the former director of the Richard Nixon library, where he is credited with overhauling museum exhibits to give a more honest accounting of Watergate, called the decision “a huge mistake.”

“It was astounding to me that a good presidency would do this,” Mr. Naftali said.

“It opens the door,” he added, “to a truly terrible Trump library.”…

The Trump Library — assuming the Saudis or the Mercers eventually get around to rededicating some abandoned golf clubhouse or unsaleable retail space — will be truly terrible under any circumstances. Kudos to President Obama for envisioning something other than a spiritual mausoleum celebrating his personal charisma:

… “America’s pyramids,” as the historian Robert Caro has called them, have also been subject to withering criticism. Over time what were intended as impartial repositories have ballooned into grandiose shrines where former presidents and their foundations wield influence not only at the museums (whose exhibits they pay for) but even, some have charged, in the research reading rooms themselves.

Anthony Clark*, the author of “The Last Campaign,” a recent book about presidential libraries, called the Obama Foundation’s break with the existing model “an unambiguous good for the American taxpayer.”

The National Archives “will not be saddled, as it is at the federal presidential libraries of Mr. Obama’s 13 immediate predecessors, with the expense and embarrassment of hosting troublingly politicized exhibits, speakers, events and educational programs,” he said…

*See previous post(s)

Much more detail at the link.

Me, I’m looking forward to seeing what develops in Chicago.

388 replies
  1. 1
    Chris Johnson says:

    Public ‘makerspaces’ is a freaking awesome idea. I’m over 50 years old and would ALWAYS have loved that if that was what libraries wer
    Hell, I’d go to my local library if it was that (rather than get my own books, and read and reread them forever) :)

  2. 2
    Jay says:

    Remember how “the experts” said that targetted infometrics was unpossible?

    Good times, 2017.

    Digital libraries are so 2001.

    Jeebus christie.

  3. 3
    Bess says:

    Excellent. We’re long past the time where scholars should have to travel and dig through printed material.

    The museum, along with being an excellent community asset, can showcase what most people want to see – mementos of PBO’s time in office, some of the First Lady’s outfits, the tan suit….

    I was really pissed the last time I visited the Smithsonian and found they have replaced most of the stuff interesting to me like Ben Franklin’s glasses with junior high school level placards.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

  5. 5
    Bess says:

    @rikyrah: Good evening from this side of the planet.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    In a break with precedent, there will be no research library on site, and none of Mr. Obama’s official presidential records.

    So where will they be?

  7. 7
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I want the physical stuff. Formats (digital) change vastly and become unusable. At least the physical documents can’t become that way or be deleted with an electronic pulse. I want a repository for all the books about Obama-good, bad, both but scholarly.

    Also, the library needs to be scholarly as well as fun. I suspect we will be digging through the records to learn lessons about Obama, his times, and his nation, and we will need it to be a functional research library. Yes, there’s something a little fuddy duddy about have scholars research the stacks, but that’s an important part of the legacy.

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Imagine if you will what trump’s library will look like.

  9. 9
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CarolDuhart2: There’s nothing like the original.

  10. 10
    Bess says:

    @CarolDuhart2: The physical stuff can be wiped out in a single fire. Once digitized the material can be stored in the clouds, at many sites around the world.

    Old format text documents and images can be recovered if anyone thinks it important. Most likely computers going forward are going to be able to read anything in digital format today. If we start to lose the ability to read for any strange reason we can simply run everything through a translator and store in the new formats.

    Digging through miles of paper documents is very inefficient. Something important could easily be overlooked. Software can do a very thorough search in seconds, checking every single page.

  11. 11
    Amir Khalid says:

    Lit up like a Vegas casino on the outside, images of Trump’s awesomeness on the inside, nary a book to be seen.

  12. 12
    eclare says:

    @JPL: I think it was Colbert that said Trump’s library would have a kiddie menu and a copy of Juggs magazine.

  13. 13
    Amir Khalid says:

    And a wall of his Presidential tweets.

  14. 14

    @eclare: It was. I was prepared to bring up the exact same segment, but you beat me to the punch.

    One of his best monologues ever.

  15. 15
    eclare says:

    @(((CassandraLeo))): Absolutely, thanks for the link!

  16. 16
    Steeplejack says:


    Good morning! 🌅

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @eclare: And the presidential roll of scotch tape.

  18. 18
    eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: And maybe a can of Aqua Net

  19. 19
    raven says:


    15 years ago I went to the National Archives in College Park, Maryland and photocopied the War Diary and Deck Logs from the Tin Can my dad served on in WW2. Now all those digitized documents are on Fold 3 and are searchable via OCR.

    eta I also found abut 30 pictures and a ton of documents from my unit in Vietnam on Fold 3.

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  21. 21
    Kathleen says:

    Good Morning, All.

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    good boy doesn’t let a fight break out 😀👌 (15 sec video)

  23. 23
  24. 24

    Digitization of records will be the death of them. I am retired from staff at a major mid-western university, where I worked in IT for the last 25 years of my career. A friend who is still working is heading up a task force right now to try and determine what the university can do to insure that all the records and documents being digitized right now can be read in just ten years from now.

    The problem is, technology for storing digitized data and retrieving it and making it human viewable changes so rapidly, that already data from just 20 years ago is often not retrievable, because there is no equipment left to mount and read the storage medium, nor equipment to display the data in human consumable format.

    This is not a good idea. The library at my university that is the repository of incunabula and the oldest books since the inventing of the printing press, will still have those books on the shelf for research and review, already 500 or more years old, a hundred years from now, when all the digitized documents and photos stored on hard disks now will be gone, the disks degraded, unreadable, the technology 100 years from now so different we cannot yet conceive of it. The past 30 or so years of history will vanish, just electronic bits that blew away in the wind of time and change.

  25. 25
    Steeplejack says:

    The 1937 version of The Prisoner of Zenda started about half an hour ago on TCM. Lots of swash being buckled—Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., David Niven. C. Aubrey Smith appropriately phlegmatic, Raymond Massey oozing bile as the would-be usurper. I got sucked in because I’ve got to see the long tracking shot when Ronald Colman enters a ballroom. He descends a long staircase, and the camera tracks back to reveal the stairs going on and on. Impressive. Should be coming up soon.

  26. 26
    eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Who’s a good boy!

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @eclare: Some kinda dog!

  28. 28
    Steeplejack says:


    Okay, ballroom scene now!

  29. 29
    Bess says:

    Here’s a list of the major libraries lost along with their single copy documents, including some from the last decade.

    We lost the Library of Congress in 1812.

  30. 30
    plato says:

    This is how NYT covered pedophile sex trafficker and rapist Jeffrey Epstein in 2008: gushing over his wealth and connections and pitying him for going to prison. Ignores corruption in favor of quirks.This is a sick paper, a sick culture.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) December 18, 2018

  31. 31
    NotMax says:


    The lesson from, for example, the Census Bureau has gone unlearned. Some census data was exclusively transferred to and stored in what was at the time a modern format (e.g. punch tape) and today there are no operational machines (or possibly only one or two which might or might not be functional) to crunch and extract data in that format and/or the storage medium itself has become so degraded or fragile as to be useless. Standard paper records of some of that data were deemed redundant, and discarded.

    The pace of obsolescence has only quickened since. Tried to buy a replacement zip disk drive lately?

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: and the real problem is that no one but you is aware of it.

  33. 33
    Raven says:

    @Bess: The National Personnel Records Center fire of 1973,[1] also referred to as the 1973 National Archives fire, was a fire that occurred at the Military Personnel Records Center (MPRC – part of the National Personnel Records Center) in Overland, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, on July 12, 1973, striking a severe blow to the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States.[1] MPRC, the custodian of military service records, lost approximately 16–18 million official military personnel records as a result of the fire.[2]

  34. 34
    Raven says:

    And the Red Bar in Grayson Beach burned down last week!

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Bess says:


    What do see going wrong for data that is now stored on multiple servers around the world? Data that any computer can read.

    We’ve failed to recopy written records into more currently used languages and onto fresh paper. That’s really no different that someone failing to transfer data from punch tape to a digital format or from floppy discs to hard drives.

  37. 37


    Tried to buy a replacement zip disk drive lately?

    I live to serve.

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    Most of that shit was written by old white men, who needs it anyway?

  39. 39

    My questions are:
    1) Will they still require reference or research librarians on staff to assist people – in person or online chat – with their research needs?
    2) Will they have reading rooms/study areas for those who physically visit the “library”?
    3) Will they have backups – such as microfiche/film – for their digital collection in case of glitches/shutdowns?
    4) Will they offer story times to 3-5 year olds in the mornings for homeschooled families?
    5) Will they at least have a couple of copies of my self-published book on display in their bookstore? Wait, they’re not gonna have a bookstore?! /ragequit

  40. 40
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Copying hard copy material is slow and expensive. Backing up electronic data is quick and cheap.

    Keep the carbon in the trees, please.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I think there’s a copy of Hitler’s speeches.

  43. 43

    @NotMax: “Tried to buy a replacement zip disk drive lately?”

    I so fondly remember the zip drive click of death. Good times.

    For those of you to young (sigh) to remember, or just never dealt with it, just google the phrase “zip drive click of death.”

  44. 44
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Bess: this. Digital records have revolutionized genealogy, which is basically amateur history.

  45. 45
  46. 46
    Raven says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: I had fighter pilot vision until I wrote my diss on a Mac SE with TWO floppy drives!

  47. 47
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @NotMax: that pales in comparison to the fire that destroyed paper records of the entire 1890 census.

  48. 48
    Shantanu Saha says:

    Trump’s library won’t be complete until it has an exhibit of the prison cell he spends the rest of his life in.

  49. 49
    Shantanu Saha says:

    @Raven: I replaced the second floppy on my Mac SE with a 45MB hard drive!

  50. 50
    Bess says:

    @NotMax: It would take very little to make a paper tape reader. In fact, a simple flatbed scanner could be used.

    I remember paper tape very well. My first computer experience was with paper tape and each time I ran my program I punched a new copy just in case the old copy was messed up by the reader.

    If there’s important data still lingering on paper tape, floppies, or other obsolete media that’s a failure of the archievest. All of that old stuff with any value should have been moved to hard drives as soon as hard drives became affordable. And it should be backed up on multiple hard drives stored in different physical locations.

  51. 51
    NotMax says:


    Can be read by any computer TODAY. No guarantee that 100 years from now the tech will be fully backwards compatible.

    Also you give a fine argument for why it is important to retain the data – fully – in its original form, if for no other reason than to periodically do comparison checks as a scholarly exercise in order to detect any tampering, alteration, degradation or selective editing/deletion of the digital version stored on servers which may or may not be secure (and to correct or prevent propagation of same). Also to try to ensure there can be replacement digitized versions created in the event of electrical or mechanical catastrophe (know of friends’ supposedly protected servers – within server farm facilities – fried by nearby lightning strikes).

  52. 52
    plato says:

    @Shantanu Saha: The totus thug’s prison cell should be his library.

  53. 53
    debbie says:


    A spiral-bound notebook filled with tweets.

  54. 54
    debbie says:


    Right, but if something should happen to those books…?

  55. 55
  56. 56
    Another Scott says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: On the other hand, paper rots – especially modern (non-archiva, non-acid free) paper. E.g. Preserving old family bibles.

    As usual, the answer is ¿por qué no los dos? Do you[r] (reasonable) best to preserve the original, but also make digital copies of the images, video and sound files, etc. Building and sculptures and so forth should be digitized as well.

    Presumably the National Archives will keep the originials that the Obama Foundation doesn’t. AFAIK, nothing has changed about the Presidential Records Act with respect to Obama’s library.

    (I didn’t give FTFNYT a click, so I don’t know if they discuss these things.)


  57. 57
    debbie says:


    My local library is just a couple blocks away and does all that. The main library here is one of the highest ranked in the country and does all that too. Both are always very busy. Adapt or perish.

    ETA: They’ve also established a consortium, so I can get books, DVDs, CDs, etc. from any of about 20 to 30 libraries. And there’s digital stuff too.

  58. 58
    Darkrose says:

    @CarolDuhart2: Physical documents take a great deal of effort and money to preserve, and deteriorate from handling. They’re also much harder to search, and to access. I’m thrilled to see the digitization, though I’d like to see the originals available to NARA.

  59. 59
    snoey says:

    I’d bet that many of the interesting working documents from the Obama administration never were printed out.

  60. 60
    Bess says:

    @NotMax: I said nothing about destroying the originals. Storing them in a secured warehouse where people couldn’t be pawing through them, perhaps misfiling or removing pages, would be ideal.

    With cloud storage files exist on servers spread around the world. A lightning strike or even nuclear bomb would not wipe out all the copies.

    At no point in time we will suddenly stop using the old technology and jump instantly to the new. If we change formats significantly, say from binary to a storage/computing system that uses transistors/whatever that have more than two states, we can simply assign some computers to translate every stored file to the new format. We’ll see the change happening and if the change is that drastic it will apply to all the information now on servers and there will no issue about the need to make the jump.

  61. 61
    Bess says:

    @snoey: Her 30,000 missing emails?

  62. 62
    Baud says:

    The fianlists for the location of the Baud! Library are Balloon Juice and PornHub.

  63. 63
    debbie says:


    I’m looking at about 70 or 80 zips, just gathering dust. Like all the CDs with legacy software. I’d love to toss them, but it seems like such a waste.

  64. 64
    Another Scott says:

    @NotMax: Citation Needed.



    The discussion of any loss of 1960 census data must therefore focus on the tape files reported in 1963 to have been in “permanent data storage.” In 1975 another internal Bureau of the Census technical memorandum indicated that the bureau had retained data files from the 1960 census on 7,297 tapes “readable” with UNIVAC II-A tape drives, 1,678 “readable” with UNIVAC III-A tape drives, and 146 tapes “readable” with then contemporary industry-compatible tape drives.

    In the 1970s NARS had inaugurated a “Targeted Agency” program that attempted to assist selected agencies with permanently valuable electronic records to bring them under records management control. With the help of NARS archivists in the Targeted Agency program, the bureau in August 1975 outlined a plan to provide for the “adequate retention of the 1960 data.” The Census Bureau would retain 132 of the industry-compatible tapes and would copy the tape files on 1,273 of the III-A tapes onto industry-compatible tapes. NARS staff informally agreed to the plan.

    At issue were the data on the 7,297 II-A tapes. All of the stories about loss of 1960 census data have to do with the 1960 derivative data that the bureau stored on tapes readable only by UNIVAC II-A tape drives. During 1975 and 1976, a member of the NARS Machine Readable Archives Division reviewed the microaggregation or derivative files that the Bureau of the Census had preserved from the 1960 census on the II-A tapes. Her review identified seven series as having long-term value to compensate for the lack of the basic microdata records from the complete census. The seven series resided on 642 of the II-A tapes. But by this time, the Univac II-A tape drives were obsolete, and thus migrating these tapes to industry-compatible tapes presented a major engineering challenge. Despite the challenge, the census staff prevailed.

    By 1979 the Census Bureau reported that they had successfully completed copying 640 of the 642 II-A tapes onto 178 industry-compatible tapes. Two of the II-A tapes could not be found. The missing tapes held 7,488 records, or about .5 percent of the approximately 1.5 million records on all II-A tapes that had been identified as having long-term value. On the 640 tapes that were located, only 1,575 records (or less than .2 percent of the total number of valuable records on II-A tapes) could not be copied because of deterioration. Hence a small volume of records from the 1960 census was lost. This occurred because of inadequate inventory control and because of the physical deterioration of a minuscule number of records, not technological obsolescence.

    Most of the data extant from the 1960 census, even in the microaggregations, are restricted from public disclosure for seventy-two years (or until 2032) by Title 13, U.S. Code. During fiscal year 2000, the Census Bureau transferred to the National Archives Title 13-covered microaggregations from the 1960 census. They will be preserved, verified, and accessioned into the National Archives, to be released to the public beginning in 2032. In fiscal year 1987, the bureau transferred and NARA accessioned the 1960 public use microdata sample files.


    The people who do this stuff (archiving our records and history) for a living know what they’re doing. But they’re human and stuff does get lost.

    Baby Don’t Fear the Digitizer!!


    My $0.02.


  65. 65
    rikyrah says:

    Enjoyed the discussion about digitization. Lots of food for thought

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Keith White (@keethers) Tweeted:
    Unsolicited, unpopular Friday night opinion: Liberals and progressives had better quit the purity shit or we’re looking at four more years of Donald J. Trump.

  67. 67
    Lapassionara says:

    @snoey: That was what I was wondering. I tend to print stuff, but some people never do.

    Good morning, everyone.

  68. 68
    Princess says:

    Trump’s library will be a spectacular opportunity for money laundering by foreign interests.

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Another Scott:

    As usual, the answer is ¿por qué no los dos?

    I would have thought that went without saying, but I guess not.

  70. 70
    JR says:

    @NotMax: A lot of digital formats have been evergreen. FASTA and GENBANK were developed in 1985 and are still used today.

  71. 71
    Baud says:


    Unsolicited, unpopular Friday night opinion: Liberals and progressives had better quit the purity shit or we’re looking at four more years of Donald J. Trump. 

    Unsolicited, unpopular Saturday morning opinion: Democrats had better build a party that does not rely on purity liberals and progressives to win elections or we’ll never get anywhere politically.

  72. 72
  73. 73
    rikyrah says:

    BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) Tweeted:
    “I don’t think I could look at my dad in the eye if I stayed in the Labour Party” Ian Austin MP, who resigned from Labour today, tells Kirsty Wark

    See more at 22:30 on @BBCTwo

    #newsnight | @IanAustinMP | @KirstyWark

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    Wakandan War Dog (@Kennymack1971) Tweeted:
    So let me make sure I have this right….

    The Justice Democrats (fuck outta here with that Sunset Movement bullshit)
    managed to use a deceptively edited video as a wedge grenade to get Dems infighting….

    Like I said earlier….they’re MAGAs under a different banner.

  75. 75
    Darkrose says:

    I’m in the middle of my e-portfolio, my final project for my MLIS. I have lots of thoughts about this, but the main one is that I’m thrilled about the digitization.

    Changes in storage technology are definitely an issue, but so much history is being lost every day due to degradation of media like paper and film stock. Many libraries, museums, and archives can’t afford the cost of properly preserving all of their records, risking damage or destruction.

    Digitization won’t and shouldn’t replace the originals, but it can provide a way to make the materials accessible to the wider public, as well as to scholars. More and more research archives are putting finding aids online; being able to access a digital copy of an exhibition program means I don’t have to handle it, or fly to Chicago.

    My big reservation is that NARA doesn’t seem to be involved at all.

  76. 76
    rikyrah says:

    #ListenToBlackWomenKamalaHarris2020 (@psddluva4evah) Tweeted:
    For real though…have folks really learned nothing from the past 2 years or since the ratfuckery of 2016…are folk really gonna fall for the same type of disinformation campaign lead by folks too happy to spread the bullshit? Don’t learn from the past ur destined to repeat it

  77. 77
    Baud says:


    I know a lot of people like Corbyn, buy I can’t help but wonder if Labour would finally have been able to win a majority with a more mainstream leader.

    I guess that’s really unknowable.

  78. 78
    debbie says:


    They never think it will backfire on them? Every instance of this kind of thing makes me hate their candidate all the more.

  79. 79
    rikyrah says:

    A response to AOC:

    LiberalPhenom (Obama is my president forever) (@LiberalPhenom) Tweeted:
    After a few weeks in Congress, YOU’RE in charge? Maybe you should step back and research the work done by the Obama admin, including the Paris Accord that 198 countries signed on to. YEARS of hard work. Your dismissal of Dems hard work is so off-putting.

  80. 80
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Coming to an orbit near you:

    Nasa has approved a new sky survey mission that will explore the origins of the universe and its galaxies and of water in planetary systems.

    This comprehensive mission is known as SPHEREx (the spectro-photometer for the history of the universe, epoch of reionization and ices explorer). It will survey the sky in 96 different colour bands that span the optical and near-infrared wavelengths of light. It will perform multiple surveys, completing an image of the whole sky once every six months, and collecting data on more than 300m galaxies. The distribution of those galaxies will reveal the behaviour of the universe in the moments following the big bang. SPHEREx will also collect data on more than 100m stars in our own galaxy. This will allow astronomers to look for traces of water and organic molecules – the essentials for life – around those stars.

    Pretty cool.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    robert mueller is a cop (@notcapnamerica) Tweeted:
    I’m so confused about why a certain faction of the left is pretending climate change isn’t an issue Democrats have been sounding the alarm on for decades?

    This isn’t new.

    The Republicans are the climate change deniers.

    They’re the enemy. Not us.

  82. 82
    Another Scott says:

    This discussion reminds me of stories about commas and other errors in the Constitution. The original is nearly illegible now, so it won’t be long until arguments like these will take place over digitized copies.

    This is obviously important in considering the 2nd Amendment, e.g.


    In a second experiment, he invented a statute: “Water being an abundant resource, property owners shall have an unrestricted right to irrigate their property as they see fit.” If, a century later, water is now scarce, is the law still in effect? Of those who replied, 81% said no.

    It is hard to believe the framers would be happy with the result of their work. America remains bitterly divided over guns, thanks to a bizarrely worded amendment that is introduced by a statement about militias that is superfluous (if Scalia and gun advocates are right), and was arguably never true at all. At the very least, it has not stood the test of time.


  83. 83
    rikyrah says:


    Salome Strangelove (@salstrange) Tweeted:
    GOP allies are being exposed for literally running underage sex trafficking rings and making sweetheart deals with pedophiles.

    Feinstein explained the boring realities of legislation to a bunch of kids in a way some people find condescending.

    Clearly, Dems are the problem.

  84. 84
    rikyrah says:

    Uh huh
    Uh huh 😒

    Mark Anthony Neal (@NewBlackMan) Tweeted:
    White Lies: A Brief History of White People Lying About Crimes via @TheRoot

  85. 85
    rikyrah says:


    #ListenToBlackWomenKamalaHarris2020 (@psddluva4evah) Tweeted:
    @yashar @SenFeinstein @sunrisemvmt I love folks talking about the unedited version of the DiFi video “isn’t much better”…ok…then why didn’t ole boy just release the entire unedited vid then? Would the unedited version if released first have cause the same over the top outrage as the edited one?

  86. 86
    rikyrah says:

    Waleed Shahid is a Dirty Cop That Fakes Evidence! (@Cakedaddy4ever) Tweeted:
    I’m a Democrat & if I wanted to:

    – fall for doctored footage
    – smear our party elders
    – eat our own
    – be unable to pay for agenda items
    – lie about details of policy
    – use henchmen to do hit jobs
    -align with genocidal dictators
    – think facts don’t matter

    I’d join the GOP.

  87. 87
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Big deal. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library doesn’t have any books in it either. It does have a plane though!

    I’ve never been to W’s library, and it’s less than an hour away. Hope I can find it. They had to keep it’s construction a secret because of protestors. I wonder if they have a copy of My Pet Goat?

    But the ‘Presidential’ library that I’m dying to visit isn’t even built yet. Hope I live to see it.

  88. 88
    debbie says:


    More of this, please!

  89. 89
    apocalipstick says:

    @Bess: Efficient =/= better

  90. 90

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library doesn’t have any books in it either. It does have a plane though!

    It’s a very nice plane.

    ETA: There are books in the gift shop.

    ETA: The Nixon Library has a moon rock, also books in the gift shop.

  91. 91
    Honus says:

    @Bess: I’m not sure. You can still read the Dead Sea scrolls after 2000 years, and much older Greek, Roman and Egyptian physical texts and records. In a more recent example, store receipts from my grandfather’s store told me a lot about the people in my home town in the twenties and thirties. OTOH all those records on 3-1/2” and 5” floppies from the 80s and 90s are unreadable and pretty much long gone.

  92. 92
    Emma says:

    @HeartlandLiberal: I am an academic librarian. Most documents that are digitized are also preserved, if possible. A LOT of the stuff that is under scrutiny in Universities are financial and legal documents and, in the libraries, special collections. The problem is that paper is rotting on the shelves, especially post WW2 stuff, because good paper — the stuff that lasts — was in short supply and things were printed on the paper equivalent of wood chips. Any University worth its endowments has had space at the Iron Mountain storage facility for storage for at least twenty years.

    And as far as changing formats, libraries have taken in stride and dealt with (1) paper to photo to microfilm; (2) microfilm to tape (of many sorts); (3)tape to digital (many formats), not to mention (4) local storage to cloud (long progression). So it can be done and it will be done.

  93. 93
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @Bess: Whoops, sorry. But, OTOH if you hadn’t invaded Canada in the first place…

    The loss of hard copy documents has been a problem since at least the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria. Here in the UK we lost a significant portion of our military personnel records from WW1 due to the Blitz and almost the entirety of the 1931 Census due to a fire where the records were stored.

    I have heard discussions about the advantages of digitisation but the initial cost of conversation can be high and, as a result, here, at least tends to be limited to items considered of major importance. At least hard copies of the remaining items exist.

    One issue I picked up from Time Team was archaeological digs recorded on floppy discs which are now inaccessible to today’s archaeologists because the cost of conversation is too high for a tight budget. This will probably be true for other professions too.

    Of course, there’s always that SF staple, the massive EM pulse that destroys everything!

  94. 94
    rikyrah says:

    The answer is YES

    Peter Daou (@peterdaou) Tweeted:
    Those of you familiar with the #HandmaidsTale, do you think #MikePence wants that to be reality?

  95. 95


    OTOH all those records on 3-1/2” and 5” floppies from the 80s and 90s are unreadable and pretty much long gone.

    Only if you’re not willing to pay $14.

  96. 96
    Baud says:

    All of my edicts executive orders will be inscribed on stone tablets.

  97. 97
    The Midnight Lurker says:


    Only if you’re not willing to pay $14.


    You may have just saved the planet. Kudos.

  98. 98
    Immanentize says:

    That fire took out all of my great Uncle’s Army WWII records — his deployments, D-Day, battle of the bulge, capture, Stalag IXB…. undistributed repositories are a nightmare for researchers. Just because something is digitized doesn’t mean the original is destroyed.

  99. 99
    Emma says:

    @Honus: Paper. Paper quality is the problem. Old paper, through the early 20th century, was made from rags. Every town had a rag man that bought old petticoats from well-off families to be turned into paper. Starting with post-WW1 (IIRC), paper began to be made from wood pulp. Anyone who’s had to throw away their beloved mid-twentieth century pulps because foxing and paper mites have turned them into disease vectors knows the problem.

  100. 100
    Emma says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Did you ask your local librarian? :-)

  101. 101
    Immanentize says:

    Damn, those are not cheap! Some of those zip drives cost as much as the FOUR Terabyte external hard drive I have. Four Terabyte!

  102. 102
  103. 103
    Another Scott says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Floppy media does go bad fairly quickly, but there are standard ways to recover information even from failing media.

    And if people want the information badly enough, there are fancier ways to get it back – e.g. using a magnetic force microscope (MFM). (103 page .pdf)


  104. 104
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Another Scott: This looks really expensive! I went with Bill’s $14 approach.

    Now I’m slobbering all over the glass door like the dog, waitin’ for that UPS truck.

    Oh, the things I will see….

  105. 105

    As someone who fixes books for a living, I’ve been listening to the digitization argument for almost forty years. While I understand the need for and value of digitization, a lot of the arguments against books and the retaining of primary source material just don’t cut it for me. Paper (even shitty paper) is more robust than conventional wisdom allows. I’ve got a book here from the 1600’s; a dealer friend got it in a batch of books and, because of its condition, decided it wasn’t worth repairing for resale and gave it to me. There’s mold damage and a few missing pages. First off, I can read it (or could if I knew Latin…). As others have noted, if this was on any sort of older digital format I’d probably be screwed. But if I choose I can take it apart, wash the paper, mend the folds and rebind it so that it will last another 400 years. And whoever chooses to read it in the future doesn’t need any extra devices to access it; just daylight. As NotMax and HeartlandLiberal point out, there are significant disadvantages to the current move away from physical archives that will probably only become evident over time.
    And I just want to add how much I appreciate this community even though I’ve been a forever lurker.

  106. 106
    mad citizen says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: I have one of these. IT guy at work gave it to me a few years ago when I showed him some 3.5 inch floppies. I’m still hoarding it.

  107. 107
    Immanentize says:

    1) Yes to librarians — the role of the research librarian has never been so important. They are no longer keepers of the locks to the vaults of information, with all the vast amount available, research librarians are translators and sifters and guides. More important than ever.
    2). Reading and study and group project spaces have vastly increased in new libraries. Get rid of those never used books that are digitized (like research quarterlies that just reprint other materials in one place now more easily searchable on a computer db) and you free up huge amount of space for people to sit, read, play, study, work together, etc.
    3). Microfiche is shit. It is super heavy, hard to store (we had to build the floor out to hold it) and degrades quickly. Also, the readers were crap and broke down easily. Fee people ever looked at microfiche, it was a huge waster of space and the digitalized versions are far superior. Threw all that but some odd holdings not yet digitalized away.
    4). More reading to children — and adults — and book clubs, etc. Than ever before
    5). No. But send me a copy and I will put it in the University library display case, snap a picture and send it to you.

  108. 108
    Kay says:


    It’s terrible. It’s riddled with errors and omissions too. Knowing or not knowing the age of the minor isn’t exculpatory. If the offender doesn’t know and it’s “reckless” not to know, they can be charged anyway. Since Epstein was soliciting sex with minors by sending other minors out to find them and bring them back he probably should have figured out they’d be bringing back other teenagers. Given that he’s such an brilliant fund manager and prosecutors apply this “reckless” standard to anyone with an IQ over 70. Anyone.

    Here’s the Miami Herald series that brought the sweetheart deal to wide public attention. Compare and contrast w/the NYTimes coverage.

    The victims (now) say they were treated shabbily (worse than say, the victims of Harvey Weinstein) by prosecutors and media partly because of who Epstein is, but also partly because of who THEY are. That the status of the victim matters as much as the status of the perp. That if this had involved the 14 year old daughters of Epstein’s friends or investors he would have been punished. Since they were just ordinary girls they were considered expendable. They’re pretty much destined to be prostitutes anyway, right? It’s more of an after school JOB than a crime! Like an internship!

    It’s made me think. I think everyone in the legal system who is halfway honest admits some victims are treated as more important and worthy of justice than others, but I hadn’t put the possible combinations together before. High status perp + low status victims (Epstein) is treated differently than high status perp and high status victims (Weinstein). I would think the second situation is more rare (just because there are fewer high status people) and so it isn’t encountered as often which is maybe why it didn’t occur to me.

  109. 109
    The Midnight Lurker says:


    Did you ask your local librarian?

    I am on a first name basis with just about all my local librarians, Emma. They are the finest people on the planet.

    Except that one guy… yeah, you know who you are. I’m watching you.

  110. 110
    Another Scott says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath: Excellent. It must be very satisfying to repair books like that.

    OTOH, Hancock’s signature is almost invisible. And that’s only ~ 243 years old.


  111. 111

    One of the best things about where I live is that it’s next door to the public library. The library sends a selection of books over here every month for people who can’t get out. My writer group has met there for over 30 years. They present a free concert every month. And obviously that’s all apart from the books in both paper and digital form.

  112. 112

    @The Midnight Lurker: Only problem is that you’ll have to have the program(or a program) that will read the data(if it was created in Lotus 1-2-3, you’d have to have a copy of Lotus or a program that would read it’s file format).

  113. 113
    Emma says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Good for you! A good contact in the public library is a gift from heaven. And yes, I know that guy. I had to write his annual evals :-(

  114. 114
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: The 10 Commandments were inscribed on stone tablets. Whatever happened to them? ;-)

  115. 115
  116. 116

    @Another Scott: True, but I’ve had disks that are 20 years old that were readable(though affixing them to a metal file cabinet with a magnet would not be an effective storage method).

  117. 117
    Ken says:

    @Baud: Excellent choice. Cuneiform is still readable after 5000 years, and if your library burns down the tablets are fired into durable pottery.

  118. 118
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Got it.

    Dude, if this gizmo allows me to access 2% of the data I’m trying to get to, it will have paid for itself a thousand times over.

    And I will sing your praises!

  119. 119
    stinger says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    I’d go to my local library if it was that (rather thanas well as get my own books, and read and reread them forever)


  120. 120
    rikyrah says:



    I know a lot of people like Corbyn, buy I can’t help but wonder if Labour would finally have been able to win a majority with a more mainstream leader.

    I think he phucked them up, but good.

  121. 121
    Ken says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: The originals are lost but there are plenty of copies. That’s probably the best lesson here – the more copies, the better.

  122. 122
    Immanentize says:

    High status people know this equation and prey on low status victims. Especially in sex crimes.

    And remember, raping a black woman was “de facto” legal until the 14th amendment and legal “de jure” until the post WWII era in the US. Sadly the same is pretty much still true regarding native women.

  123. 123
    rikyrah says:



    They never think it will backfire on them? Every instance of this kind of thing makes me hate their candidate all the more.

    Because of 2016, when we find out about these mofos now, we can block them. No benefit of the doubt, because we can’t afford benefits of the doubt. The stakes are too high

  124. 124
    Bess says:

    @Honus: in the early days of digital information and photography we went through a series of storage methods (cassette tape, audio tape, paper tape, floppies, etc.) before we created very large capacity, inexpensive hard drives. That some of those early stored bits and bytes were lost should not surprise us any more than all the information that was written down on rocks with pieces of charcoal which was lost.

    We’re now in the early days of moving from hard drives to solid state drives which are much more stable. Data written to solid state drives and not rewritten on that drive will last hundreds of years.

  125. 125

    @Another Scott:
    Iron gall ink fades over time, but I think there are ways to bring it back to visibility; fortunately that’s not something that comes my way too often.
    Thanks for the kind words. I have a good time.

  126. 126
    John Barleycorn says:

    Just chiming in as someone who worked in a national archive. Data is backed up on and off site. Media is exercised regularly and data is transferred from older to newer systems to ensure that the information remains usable and minty fresh. Generally, data is kept in very basic formats (e.g. ASCII, HDF5, etc). They would carry some binary intermediary formats for relatively short term (5-10 years) to allow reprocessing from intermediate steps if needed. Some source files are also in complicated formats that may not be well documented enough to be easily digestible in the distant future. But the final products of data collection are stored in open/well documented formats. Maintaining currency is a challenge and a constant effort, but there are folks who know how to do this. Just keep them fed and keep the government open and let them do their thing.

  127. 127

    @Baud: Or you can build pillars like Ashoka. They have lasted for a couple of thousand years.

  128. 128
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: There were fifteen. But Mel Brooks dropped five.

    As for the other ten… I heard somebody smashed them. Then they put them in some kind of ark? Then they were lost for the ages until this guy ‘Indiana Jones’ found them. Then the Nazi’s stole them. Then Jones stole them back and now they’re lost again.

    I guess we’ll never know what’s in them.

  129. 129
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: A couple years back a young white female college student was tragically murdered in STL’s Central West End. It wasn’t just the cops who made her case high priority, the STL Post Disgrace did too with front page story after front page story until the perps were arrested. Young black girls get killed in N STL all the time. They’re lucky if end up on page 3A.

  130. 130
    Immanentize says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath: I have an archivist friend at one of Harvard’s libraries. The stuff they come up with these days! He told me of a German built machine that can simultaneously split paper/parchment between the leaf and laminate it all in one move.

    Respect for archivists and book fixers! I have an original copy of the Catholic Encyclopedia from 1907. It came from a convent in Texas and all the volumes are in excellent shape, except for the one that contains information about the Texas missions, etc. Seems the nuns probably made every student do a report on that topic….

  131. 131
    Kay says:

    We lived in a town with a really nice public library system when our two oldest were little and I took them to the library a lot. They had a children’s librarian “Vicky” who was really welcoming and just a kind person. She’d remember what they liked to read or look at and do what I now realize is what teachers here call “extending”- point them to something deeper or more difficult in the same subject or genre. They would just glow that she remembered. That they were like “important” readers who were worthy of adult effort, because they would treat it like kids do “I’m gonna pick a book”, just wandering looking at covers. We spent so much time there my daughter remembers that the girl’s bathroom was “bright pink”. It was. It was painted pink. The minute she said it I recalled that.

  132. 132
    Bess says:

    @Sloane Ranger:

    You can purchase floppy disc readers online. If your data is actually valuable then buy a reader, retrieve your data, and sell the reader to someone else.

    If you haven’t taken care of the floppies and they are now unreadable what is the chance you wouldn’t have taken care of printed copies as well?

  133. 133
    rikyrah says:

    Now that we know, as Silverman accurately assessed:

    Waleed Shahid of the Justice Democrats is a Lying Shitbird!

    We need to hold those elected officials associated with him accountable. As Silverman pointed out, this wasn’t the first time he has done this bullshyt.

    So, I have to wonder, what kind of elected official is associated with him? And, now, that it’s clear, after the Feinstein debacle, that he means no good to Democrats…WHY WOULD ANY DEMOCRAT BE ASSOCIATED WITH HIM.?

  134. 134
    Baud says:


    Fucking Babylonians.


    The Pillars of Baud!

    I kind of like the sound of that.

  135. 135
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Ken: Yep.
    @The Midnight Lurker: Heh.

  136. 136
    Bess says:

    @The Midnight Lurker:

    There are a couple of videos on YouTube that show how to build paper tape readers.

  137. 137

    @Baud: Ashoka had three lions on his pillar, and a chakra which is on India’s flag. What will Baud Pillars have?

  138. 138
    Kay says:


    All credit to the Miami paper but THIS one was maybe followed up on because of Acosta. So there’s a famous person connection :)

    My advice to victims is to involve a famous/rich/powerful person in your overlooked crime. Just bring one in there somewhere.

  139. 139
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: And the one on sex is missing entirely?

  140. 140
    Yarrow says:

    @Baud: Corbyn is part of the problem for Labour, for sure. It’s interesting to see MPs splitting from both the Conservative and Labour parties. Another one left Labour yesterday, although he didn’t join The Independent Group. Brexit seems to be leading to a significant realignment in British politics.

  141. 141
    rikyrah says:


    It’s made me think. I think everyone in the legal system who is halfway honest admits some victims are treated as more important and worthy of justice than others, but I hadn’t put the possible combinations together before. High status perp + low status victims (Epstein) is treated differently than high status perp and high status victims (Weinstein).


    The Epstein case was truly appalling not just because HE got off….but, he got off EVERYONE WHO WAS INVOLVED IN TRAFFICKING THESE CHILDREN….and, they were CHILDREN.

    THAT is the point I can’t get past.

  142. 142
    CatFacts says:

    I’m fine with records being digitized for Obama’s library, but I do have two questions.
    First, who is doing the digitization, and how will they choose what to digitize? A century ago, a lot of letters were lost when family and friends of the deceased letter-writers cherry-picked what they wanted the public to know about their nearest and dearest in authorized biographies, etc. To be clear, I’m NOT accusing Obama’s foundation of anything nefarious at all, just that humans have biases and I’d like to know how the foundation is dealing with that.
    And second, what is going to happen to the original documents? As Ken says above, the more copies, the better. In the more formats, the better.

  143. 143
    Amir Khalid says:


    raping a black woman was “de facto” legal until the 14th amendment and legal “de jure” until the post WWII era in the US.

    I’m not the expert on law Latin here, but this doesn’t look quite right to me. I have the impression that de facto and de jure have swapped places in this clause by mistake.

  144. 144
    MomSense says:

    Cute movie on Netflix called the 100 foot journey. Sort of a romance, cuisine, culture mashup. Dame Helen Mirrin and the very handsome Manish Dayal. If you are in the mood for something pleasant and not stressful, this will do the trick.

  145. 145
    Immanentize says:

    @schrodingers_cat: yes, maybe there is a lion, but Ahsoka Tano has a green lightsaber!

  146. 146
    Bess says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath:

    Were you to scan that book to digital people all over the world could read it. And software couple probably do a good job translating it into a number of modern languages.

    Your one copy is all that exists, apparently. In digital form it could be stored in several parts of the world at all time. The contents would be protected from Trump building a wall through your house one day when you’re away.

    Saving that original copy is important, IMHO. It’s a tangible attachment to an earlier time. Just like Ben Franklin’s glasses.

  147. 147
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: Don’t forget Trajan’s column. Of course those carvings are disappearing due to pollution. ;-(

  148. 148
    TS (the original) says:


    OTOH all those records on 3-1/2” and 5” floppies from the 80s and 90s are unreadable and pretty much long gone

    We still have a 5-1/4 floppy reader (USB) and although not a “power” computer user I converted all the data I wanted years ago. Such technology doesn’t become obsolete over night.

    I find digital access to library/museum data world wide just amazing. What used to cost a fortune & take weeks to access is now available instantly – often free – but even on a pay basis much cheaper than previous options.

  149. 149
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: If I ever get murdered I’m gonna leave a note saying Kim Kardashian did it.

  150. 150
    Immanentize says:

    @Amir Khalid: they did. I am asleep at the wheel. Sorry. My cat will not bring me coffee when ordered to.

    For a really long read on the topic, may I recommend:
    Rape as a Badge of Slavery….. Perfect example of other discussion — printed first on paper, but now available digitally!

  151. 151
    Immanentize says:

    Regarding a volume on sex in the Catholic Encyclopedia? There is nun.

  152. 152
    Kay says:


    Right. It runs all thru the priest abuse stories. So many of them start with set ups like “my father died and my mother was overwhelmed so she was happy someone was paying attention to me” – kids who are in situations where they’re vulnerable, as compared to others.

    What’s interesting to me is the kids who are deemed too dangerous to mess with, because they’re higher status. They’re often in the same schools or churches and they are (believably, to me) completely unaware that there’s this whole other situation for the vulnerable kids. Priests pulling the lower status victims out of the class they’re all sitting in, over and over and over, and the other kids (honestly) say “I had no idea it was going on”.

  153. 153
    Bess says:


    First item in a simple Lotus 123 search…

    Open Microsoft Excel. …
    Select Open.
    Navigate the directory structure for the Lotus file. …
    Crosscheck all the formulae and formatting in the opened file.
    Again, click the File dropdown or the Office button at the top-left corner.
    Select Save As.

    I seem to remember that the Library of Congress has copies of almost all software programs that might be needed to retrieve data.

  154. 154

    I’ve heard of that, though never seen one. A colleague who studied in Germany was taught how to split paper by hand; kind of a bookbinder’s parlor trick.
    Your Catholic Encyclopedia sounds like a nice set. The fact that the Texas volume was more heavily used enhances, to me anyway, its value as an artifact.

  155. 155
    Bess says:

    The first set Moses threw down and broke. I don’t think we can count on the card reader being able to get the info off them.

  156. 156

    @Immanentize: 4 lions. Lion Capital of Ashoka who ruled over the subcontinent in 300 BC and was responsible for spreading Buddhism across Asia. Who became a Buddhist after decades of warmongering and renounced violence.

  157. 157
    Kay says:


    y son lives in Chicago and his wife works at a job where she has a lot of interaction with city and county government people- they socialize with them too- and they told me the joke in Chicago was police solved a crime with Smollett. They have like a 30% clearance rate :)

  158. 158
    Immanentize says:

    But as I am sure you see, that carries over to prosecutors. They won’t push cases of poor minority girls/women who were raped because “juries won’t find them credible.”. Ugh. That’s what my article was also about. How this attitude regarding liw status victims carries over to the police and prosecution discretion decisions.

  159. 159
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    A Public Service: Zip Drive Conversions

    Several are USB which allows for file transfers to the computer.

  160. 160
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Bess: Oh, Bess. I love you too now. Thanks for the info.

    And they all say, “Why fucking Balloon Juice?”


  161. 161
    Kent says:

    A lot of you are conflating physical storage mediums with digital formats. They are not the same thing and present different issues.

    Yes, physical storage formats for digital information have and are changing rapidly. Punch card, tape drives, 5.25″ floppies, 3.5″ floppies, zip drives, CDs, flash drives, DVDs, etc. etc. These days it is getting harder and harder to find laptop computers that can even read a CD or DVD. Physical storage mediums for digital information have become problematic, especially for digital information stored offline.

    However digital formats are getting easier. 10-15 years ago one needed actual adobe software to read and create .pdfs. These days you can read and create .pdfs with just about anything. You can read and create .pdfs on your phone. Same thing with .jpg files and so forth. Modern software is getting better at reading old files and formats, not worse.

    What worries me most today is that we are relying on for-profit companies like google and amazon to create and maintain much of the cloud backbone that we are now using in lieu of physical storage. Companies come and go. How much is this new Obama library going to be relying on Amazon cloud services or the equivalent to permanently store the records?

    I’m sure they have thought through these issues. I just don’t understand what they have decided are the solutions for permanent record storage.

  162. 162
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: They say there is only a 20% homicide clear rate in Chicago. Damn.

  163. 163
    Kdaug says:

    @JPL: A cardboard box next to dumpster with some gold spray paint

  164. 164
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Ouch. You should be shot and pissed on for that pun.

  165. 165
    Yarrow says:

    @rikyrah: Just wait until the human trafficking story involving Trump finally gets attention. It’s like all these other stories–there in plain sight but no one sees. Since the Epstein story and Acosta’s role is finally getting the focus it should had years ago, we’re probably getting closer to the Trump story.

  166. 166
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: in which Order?

  167. 167
    Kay says:


    “Prosecutorial discretion” has become the go-to excuse for special treatment. IMO. I think it’s being abused. All it makes me think is we should use more discretion when hiring prosecutors. VERY choosy, we must be :)

  168. 168
    Mayim says:

    @John Barleycorn:

    Librarian and genealogist at a publicly funded non-university research library here.

    On formats and copies: the more, the merrier. When it comes to documents, my job is twofold ~ access and preservation. Librarians are pretty good about both, in general. However, it often feels like I spend half my time in meetings about how to extend both.
    Hard copies aren’t permanent ~ but one way to preserve them is to digitize them, so that access is easier, and then fewer people need to handle the original, making preservation easier.
    Cost ~ that’s the big issue.
    Guessing NARA will keep the originals [paper or digital] of Obama’s papers for preservation, with access to serious scholars for whom the digitized copies don’t work, while the Obama library will provide access for anyone who can’t travel to D.C.

  169. 169
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: Cruising the Family Court hallways in search of nubile teenage girls in families going thru divorce…

  170. 170
    Yarrow says:



    As I said yesterday, her association with the Justice Dems is part of why I’m skeptical of AOC. She hired one of them to be her spokesperson.

  171. 171
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: Acosta was in Miami for years and was considered, by my PD and defense attorney friends, as a pretty good guy. He has hinted at some type of intimidation in the Epstein case. Of the victims, for sure, that’s documented. But at least one attorney who worked with Acosta a lot thought the intimidation was directed at Acosta and his family. I hope we learn that one day.

    ETA Intimidation plus promises of rewards….

  172. 172
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Bess: Say WHAT????? goddamned card reader engineers. They should have anticipated the need!

  173. 173
    Mayim says:

    @Chris Johnson:
    Have you checked whether your local library has a public makerspace? Many do ~ it’s something that is fairly easily packaged for grant funding, so some libraries you wouldn’t expect to do have them.

  174. 174
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: In STL, they take stolen car reports over the phone.

  175. 175
    taumaturgo says:

    Obama who squandered eight years of a huge liberal mandate with empty centrism and corporate, wall street kowtowing is now surrendering his historical legacy to privatization. Who knew?

  176. 176
    cain says:

    Besides, y’all know that Trump would try to fuck with the Obama presidential library if it was under any kind of fed control. If he could figure out a way to stop all funding of it, he would.

  177. 177

    I’m sure there are other copies of this text, though I know that’s not your point. If it were digitized, (and the time to do that would be once it was disbound) and cloudified, it would be accessible- but only to those with a digital device. I certainly take my computer and phone for granted, and would not want to do without them; but without access my digitized book might as well not exist.

  178. 178
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: And those are the murder/suicides.

  179. 179
    Immanentize says:

    @Kay: we have a new “Reform” prosecutor in Suffolk County (Boston). She has a lot of great ideas and plans, but it seems that her first nearly overwhelming job is to clean up data entry for cases and try to get things digitized and regularized. She needs the data to improve the office. But all the info and prosector notes were in paper files — which they regularly destroyed! She stopped that process and is now trying to figure out what to do going forward. We could be such better crime fighters with better systems. Then discretion could be guided, not random.

  180. 180
    Kay says:


    Eww. Remember that? And people knew. YEARS afterward they said “I knew there was something hinky with that guy”

    That’s a fundie Christian thing too though, as I’m sure you’re aware. Children are the property of the father so if the father is absent no one holds title and any other man can just step in and “advise”.

    That Senate win is one of the best I can remember. JUSTICE! At the ballot box. :)

  181. 181
    kd bart says:

    @Kay: Look how they screwed up the Richard Kimble case. The man had to find his own wife’s killer.

  182. 182
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: I usually shoot first, they don’t move around as much then.

  183. 183
    plato says:

    @taumaturgo: Idiot troll.

  184. 184
    Another Scott says:

    @taumaturgo: Pelosi Clap


  185. 185
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: What got me was the parents who gave permission.

  186. 186
    Immanentize says:

    @kd bart: Yeah! Didn’t anyone notice a one armed man?! Just like OJ!

    ETA. I was just talking with students about the OJ case. Under Kay’s formulation, it really wasn’t a race case, but a celebrity case. On both sides. People remember it somehow as the evidence being overwhelming against him, but it wasn’t. The news just made it sound that way. Then, add in the obvious police cheating (and police racism). Jurors hate hate hate cheating. Not a surprise verdict at all

  187. 187
    plato says:

    Robert Lighthizer had to explain a memo of understanding to Trump in front of Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.Trump: "They don't mean anything." RL: "It's a legal term. It's a contract."Trump: "By the way I disagree."The Vice Premier laughed out loud.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 23, 2019

    When you willingly elect stupid fucks….

  188. 188

    @taumaturgo: Try harder, Boris. This trolling attempt is weak tea.

  189. 189
    Bess says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath:

    There’s no need to unbind volumes in order to digitize them. Software is pretty danged smart. Remember when Google (?) wanted to digitize all books and make them available? They were basically just photographing the pages.

    There are services that go to city and county record offices and make digital copies of all their records. At least one company was using cheap digital compacts, a copy stand, and some simple lighting. A low wage person turned the pages and pushed the remote shutter button.

  190. 190
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Obama who squandered eight years of a huge liberal mandate with empty centrism and corporate, wall street kowtowing is now surrendering his historical legacy to privatization. Who knew?

    Could be sincere, could be parody, but we’re living through a similar moment now. Wilmer and a few of his acolytes have convinced themselves that they’ve set the mainstream democratic agenda because “Medicare For All” is a popular slogan and few people are willing to loudly opppose “free college”– but did you notice most of the room applauded when Klobuchar did say she wasn’t for it? For every AOC, there’s a Conor Lamb, and an Abigail Spanberger, and it’s going to be interesting to watch Sharice Davids and Lauren Underwood navigate their very tight districts. The Justice Democrats need to calm down a little, is what I’m saying

    Matthew Yglesias @ mattyglesias
    -AOC beating Crowley was a big story but not a typical 2018 outcome — Cuomo, Carper, and other moderate Democrats in safe seats beat back challengers.
    -It’s noteworthy how much ambitious progressive legislation the 2020 contenders are signing onto but also worth looking at what Gary Peters, Maggie Hasan, Maria Cantwell, Mark Warner, Jackie Rosen, etc are (or are not) doing.

  191. 191
    Bess says:

    @Immanentize: Were the trial held today with the current general understanding of DNA I suspect the outcome would have been different.

  192. 192
    Yarrow says:

    @Immanentize: Doesn’t surprise me.

  193. 193

    Jowls of Concern noted yesterday on the Snooze Hour that BS is the most popular presidential candidate because he connects with people. His commentary is so redundant. Even David Brooks manages to get an intelligent insight once in a while but Shields is utterly useless.

  194. 194
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    The Justice Democrats need to calm down a little, is what I’m saying

    The job of the Justice Democrats is not to calm down but to stir up outrage and create division among Democrats. They’re not going to “calm down a little.” They’re not paid to calm down.

  195. 195
    Kay says:

    Guidance in reading is under-rated. IMO. I had a 4th grade teacher who told me in no uncertain terms that I was slacking off reading so many Nancy Drew’s and she had higher standards and I was NOT getting credit for this. I could turn in my giant list of “books read” for the school “books read” competition but she wasn’t fooled. She knew I could whip thru this crap. This was amazing to me- they pushed reading so much but no one told us WHAT to read. I was a well-meaning 10 year old moron. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know! I might have been wandering around forever if I hadn’t encountered this authoritarian. I thought it was volume. I didn’t know there was a quality piece. It was the first time anyone took it seriously “your time and effort is worth something. Don’t spend it so thoughtlessly”.

  196. 196
    Chetan Murthy says:

    There are really two issues with digitization: (1) continuity of information over time, and (2) ability to read that information as a human.

    #2 is the really hard one: sure/sure/sure we can read PDFs on many devices, but (for example) I wonder if there are -any- RUNOFF processors left, which could process a book in that format? The eventual obsolescence of software could be a problem, and we won’t know until it happens. To that end, I’ve been told by library science folks, that they’re making explicit plans to archive working virtual machines with readers for various formats, alongside the data in those formats

    #1 is actually either really difficult, or really easy. Really difficult, b/c if you believe that digital systems might fail, then, quite simply, you have to keep paper copies around. When the computers fail, you need non-computer archives. But if you believe that our digital ecosystem will continue to exist, then there’s simply no problem. Modern replicated software systems are completely up to the job of keeping N geographically-separate replicas of extremely large data-sets up-to-date. It’s simply not a problem. But again, this *assumes* that the modern electronic and digital world will not go backward.

    I think the comparison with the obsolescence woes of tap/floppies/zipdrives/etc isn’t really relevant: Certainly there were/are lots of problems with those systems. But they were a transient form, on the way to the globally-connected massive-storage system we have today[2]. And if by some chance we regress to those form-factors, i don’t think we should kid ourselves: we’ll continue regressing to pre-electronic society.

    There’s some subset of human knowledge that we need to preserve against the possibility of falling down into darkness. But most of it doesn’t need to be preserved in that way: modern replicated storage is sufficient, and the archiving of VMs with reader software, combined with emulation of older hardware[1], will do the job.

    [1] IIUC, DEC Vaxes are emulated on DEC Alphas, which are emulated on Itanium. I know that there have been a number of companies over the years that emulated IBM’s mainframe on x86: in each case, IBM sued/bought the company out of existence. But a friend of mine who worked on IBM’s mainframe chips 20yr ago, told me that soon it would be completely feasible to emulate a mainframe on an x86 chip with sufficient speed to be usable for almost all mainframe apps. At that point, there’s just not much keeping us from ensuring that DOS loves forever.

    [2] Watching Engelbart’s “Mother of all Demos”, reading about the predictions of early ARPANET architects, and reflecting on Moore’s Law over 30-40-year time-periods, should be convincing proof. Yearly exponential improvement over half-centuries is something with which we simply have insufficient experience to really understand. But basically, there’s no good reason for anybody in the West to ever carry around any information other than (at the limit) video. Everything else is better kept in the cloud, and only cached on our portable hardware.

  197. 197

    Respectfully, that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. If a document is digitized and in the cloud it can only be retrieved by someone with a piece of (still not inexpensive) hardware. I think needing that extra layer of mediation restricts access. : )

  198. 198
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    For every AOC, there’s a Conor Lamb

    Lamb, who voted against Nancy Pelosi. And AOC, who voted for her.

  199. 199
    Another Scott says:

    @schrodingers_cat: You shouldn’t continue to punish yourself and watch things you don’t like. I used to be a regular watcher of the MacNeil/Leher Report and its subsequent incarnations, so I understand it. It’s not worth it if it only makes you angry.

    I almost screamed at the radio driving home yesterday when the announcer on the 7 PM top-of-the-hour NPR news was talking about the “voter fraud” in the GA 9 election. Aaargh!!! Words matter, especially in headlines and in brief news updates. (It wasn’t “voter fraud” of course – it was “election fraud”.) I flip the station much, much more often than I used to…

    Hang in there.


  200. 200
    Gavin says:

    I don’t like this at all. Libraries are for research – full stop. Both the digitizing and the “private non-profit foundation” are purely designed to squash factual investigation into the BO years.

    I don’t trust the “search” features they’d be implementing.. who’s going to guarantee the tagging is unbiased?

    I don’t trust their assertion that “everything” will actually be digitized.. I’ll bet big that they deliberately leave out anything even potentially damaging.

  201. 201
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Oh, sweet Jesus… have any of you other jackals read this:!

    Lee Papa has a glorious summary at his blog:

    WTF??? I hope Manafort dies slowly and badly in prison.

  202. 202
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay: But getting lost in pulp every now and again is so… Freeing for the soul.

  203. 203
    Plato says:


    I’ll bet big that they deliberately leave out anything even potentially damaging.

    Tell us, gavin, we are all ears.

  204. 204
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath: But having to physically visit the media does not restrict access? That’s your argument? Pfft.

  205. 205
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Immanentize: Did you read the book titled Outrage that was written by some former prosecutor? I seem to recall that his point was that the prosecution fucked up big time. I read this book circa 1997 when a bookmobile (remember those?) came through my neighborhood. I thought it was an interesting read. I can see how twenty plus years of research by actual experts might come to a different conclusion.

  206. 206
    Chetan Murthy says:


    I was a well-meaning 10 year old moron. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know! I might have been wandering around forever if I hadn’t encountered this authoritarian. I thought it was volume. I didn’t know there was a quality piece.

    Oh, idunno: I think you’d have found the good stuff sooner or later. When I was a kid, I read sci-fi like it was going out of style. Went thru Heinlein’s entire oeuvre in a week in 7th grade. My mom tried to force me to read “literature” in high school. I remember trying to read _The Scarlet Letter_ and falling asleep in the Customs House chapter (#1). Ditto with _War and Peace_. Fast-forward to grad school, and I started reading Milan Kundera on the advice of a classmate; Next thing I know, I’m 29 and reading _The Scarlet Letter_ in one night (a ripping yarn) and _War and Peace_ in a few days. Devouring “literature” like it’s going out of style. I just finished re-reading _Pride and Prejudice_ last night (2 nights).

    In sum, I think facility with reading is the main thing, and you had that. And sure/sure/sure it’d be great if you read “good literature” while you were at it. But really, the important part is how -much- you read, how -long- you can sit and concentrate reading, how -much- you can get out of what you read, how -much- you take pleasure in reading itself. The quality, well, it’ll come later. And besides, I’m firmly convinced that good literature is wasted on the young: they just don’t have the life-experiences to really appreciate it. Says this old man.

  207. 207
    Another Scott says:

    @Gavin: How would having all the physical artifacts in Chicago allay you concerns? Access is always restricted by various means. If you don’t trust the curators and their systems, then it doesn’t matter if the information is digitized or not.

    And, as someone pointed out above, it’s quite likely that a lot of the archived information only exists as electronic files. Hillary had to print out copies of her e-mails for the Archives, but I can’t imagine that things like databases have to be printed out…


  208. 208
    Suzanne says:

    There are very robust fire protection systems for archives, especially archives that people do not enter. The most secure archives have systems that essentially starve an entire space of oxygen very, very quickly. So I am sure that, if the Obamas want the paper preserved, that that can be worked out. This can be a both/and thing: digitize the records and make them available and searchable for the public, but also keep the hard copies stored safely.

  209. 209
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: I don’t have the stomach for that.

  210. 210
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath:

    If a document is digitized and in the cloud it can only be retrieved by someone with a piece of (still not inexpensive) hardware.

    A non-digital book must be accessed by going to its repository (or a connected/related library). A digitized book could be accessed by going to that same library and using a computer there. No purchase of a device needed. But also, at this point every citizen in the West needs a computer in order to simply -live-. Those who don’t have them, must be provided them. We’re not talking some village in India where there’s only intermittent power, after all.

  211. 211
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: Lamb, who voted against Nancy Pelosi. And AOC, who voted for her.

    True, but he’s a D, and despite the TeeVee people who made out that he ran on a single-plank platform of not Pelosi, if you watched his actual words, he talked a lot about FDR and the social safety net.

  212. 212
    gene108 says:

    An unsurprising look at Bernie’s management style

    Pssst… He’s a short tempered micromanager

  213. 213
    germy says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    The quality, well, it’ll come later.

    The sad thing is when young folks unknowingly absorb some garbage books, but never come to the later realization that what they’ve read is… garbage. (Paul Ryan reading Ayn Rand, for example.)

    I remember reading “Chariots of the Gods?” as a ten year old and thinking there might be something to it, because his “evidence” was so carefully laid out. A few years later I understood how deeply I’d been bamboozled. And now, many years later, I understand the racism in his theories.

    And yet there are still middle-aged men who never abandoned the crackpot theories they learned as young readers.

  214. 214
    Bess says:

    @Gavin: There’s no tagging necessary. If you search all documents for the letter string ” fish ” you find them.

  215. 215
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @gene108: Pssst… He’s a short tempered micromanager

    I am un-suprised.
    “Who took mowhr strawr-berries, than was dictated by his needs? JANE! Get the measuring cups!”
    I typed that in my killer Bernie imitation voice, FYI.

  216. 216
    Baud says:


    Ctrl + F

    “Secret Plan to Gut Social Security”


  217. 217
    Chetan Murthy says:


    The sad thing is when young folks unknowingly absorb some garbage books, but never come to the later realization that what they’ve read is… garbage.

    OK, fair cop. I was reacting more to @Kay and her story about reading Nancy Drew (can’t believe that the sci-fi I binge-read was any better ;-). For sure, my comments only applied to fiction, and only -as- -fiction-. Anything with pretensions of addressing the real world, needs to be held to a higher standard. For sure. For sure.

  218. 218
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I know voting against Pelosi wasn’t his only issue. I just wonder if his words about the safety net are valuable, if he wanted to replace one of the people who worked so hard for Affordable Healthcare. I agree with you that we need all the allies we can get on the D side. There are professional rats on the other side working for chaos.

  219. 219
    chris says:

    @Bess: This machine right here. Magic!

  220. 220
    debbie says:


    The problem is that paper is rotting on the shelves, especially post WW2 stuff, because good paper — the stuff that lasts — was in short supply and things were printed on the paper equivalent of wood chips.

    The crap they’re using to print books now is appalling.

  221. 221
    Yarrow says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: From the LA Review of Books:

    Yet one cluster of texts never entered public discourse in the same way. For eight months after these texts were released online — an eon, in internet time — no one wrote about them.

    That’s not true. I’ve read those text interactions before–the stuff about group sex, he likes to watch, his preference for black men. They were written about. Perhaps not in places the LA Review of Books was looking.

    I’ll just say what I’ve been saying for the last few years, the “alt right” didn’t start using the word “cuck” by accident. It’s always projection with them. Always.

  222. 222
    Chetan Murthy says:


    I remember reading “Chariots of the Gods?” as a ten year old

    Heh. I remember reading _You Can Trust the Communists (To Be Communists)_ in my freshman year in high school. And I *believed* it! When I was in my first year in college, I remember watching _War Games_, and when the anti-war message was first revealed, I whispered to the girl I was with: “oh my gosh, it’s a communist front” in *complete* seriousness! HAHAHAHA! Thank goodness I figured it out later. D’oh! D’oh! D’oh!

  223. 223
    Anya says:

    The Epstein case cover-up is similar to the U.K.’s Westminster paedo cover up. Lately, I’ve been reading about the Westminster cover -up. There are some similarities. Both cases are about well-connected class covering up a hideous crime against children.

  224. 224
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I am un-suprised.

    There is footage of him onstage with Jane, telling her “Don’t stand next to me!” He wanted the stage to himself.

    Now imagine if we had footage of HRC yelling at Bill “Don’t stand next to me!” during a campaign event.

    And now imagine we had footage of Klobuchar or Harris yelling that at HER husband. We literally would never hear the end of it. And yet how many of you have seen the wilmer “don’t stand next to me” clip? WaPo and NYT haven’t run any opinion pieces on it.

  225. 225
    Mayim says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath:

    And to bring this back to the original topic somewhat: libraries. And cellphones, which can be much less expensive than a computer ~ but even that can circle around to free wifi at the local library, which 99% of public libraries in this country provide [often thanks to federal funding].

    Unless a person has done something so egregious as to get banned {and it usually takes a fair bit to get to that point ~ like throwing a library computer across the room or threatening staff/patrons}, everyone can use the local library. If you can’t afford to get to the local library, you probably can’t afford to travel to a repository where a rare book is kept, either.

    So a good chunk of the equation as librarians and archivists work on what to digitize is acces, while the other is preservation, as repeated handling of fragile materials isn’t good, either. The recent machines for digitization do great things with supporting delicate items and using software to deal with bound volumes and all sorts of other difficulties with the physical process.

    The other big chunk of the equation is money. Much of what my colleagues in the library’s digitizing program do is triage… older documents in older [often wooden-frame] buildings with dampness, temperature changes, possible vermin [both rodent and insect], neglect, newspapers* on cheap paper that were never meant for longevity :-( Yeah, lots of decisions on what needs to be done soonest for preservation on a limited budget.

    My guess is that a fair amount of Obama-era material was born digital so scanning won’t actually be necessary. As technology changes, the decisions archivists and librarians make about the details of storage will change.

    *Maine was mid-range in requiring registering vital records [births, marriages, deaths]. While some towns have partial records kept before that was required starting in 1892, a large percentage of the written records of marriages and deaths are notices in newspapers [births were rarely mentioned].

  226. 226
    Chetan Murthy says:


    I’ve read those text interactions before–the stuff about group sex, he likes to watch, his preference for black men. They were written about.

    Right. I’m pretty sure Josh Marshall wrote about it, with links to the original texts. I know I saw it in a number of places. I read the summaries-of-summaries, and was sufficiently sickened that I didn’t dig further. But I -definitely- remember reading about it in the standard places that I go for news.

  227. 227
    Bess says:

    @Chetan Murthy: If you don’t have a computer more libraries have several for you to use.

    I can see future libraries with few books in the public areas other than those for young children and. perhaps, “art” books. People will be able to browse the libraries holdings and if there’s a book that hasn’t been digitized the library robot Get-It will bring it to you.

    We may have reading areas where one can use a nice sized reader to read whatever is in the library’s digital collection. Research librarians who know how to find the good stuff either in the collection or on the web. I’m not seeing a reason for massive shelves of books in the public area.

  228. 228
    Miss Bianca says:

    @subcommandante yakbreath: Every mad-cool comment like this one from a lurker makes me wonder how many other mad-cool lurkers are out there. Chime in more, please! Book-binding and repair is ine of those skills I really, really wish I had acquired along the way.

  229. 229
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Shantanu Saha:

    Trump’s library won’t be complete until it has an exhibit of the prison cell he spends the rest of his life in.

    Bangalore! With an Animatronicated Shitgibbon (orange with white circles around the eyes) sitting on the bunk looking glum in the gloom from a single small window high on the opposite wall. Drop a quarter into the slot & it gets up & delivers a typical Trumpoline diatribe, generated by WordSalad 3.0…

  230. 230
    Bess says:

    @chris: Boy, Howdy! That thing smokes.

  231. 231
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: We’ll see, if and when a good bill comes up, if he is willing and able to sell a public option, or Medicare buy-in or expansion, or whatever it says, in the exurbs of Pittsburgh.

    My larger point was that I’ve been seeing a lot of Wilmerist triumphalism in the last week or so (I barely knew who Waleed Shahid was a week ago, now it seems like he’s everywhere), and Himself loves attention and applause as much as trump, and the media is eager for a “Dems divided by leftward lurch” story, and we’ve seen that movie too many times. I think it’s important to not let Wilmer and his bumper-sticker litmus tests go too far, to the extent that we can help it

  232. 232

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Nope. Unless I have a book in my own collection I’m going to have to go somewhere for it. I just think that the arguments for digitization as have been made in this thread may prove to be overly optimistic in the long run. I know I’m on the wrong side of history here, but hey, I’m just a guy what works with his hands…
    Thanks for being tolerant of the newbie (me); everybody have a good day.

  233. 233
    Yarrow says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Yeah, I know. It was in common discussion. Maybe the LA Review of Books didn’t visit such low brow places as TPM so they think they’re discovering it. Even so, a simple internet search could have shown them that yes, those texts were published elsewhere and yes, people were talking about them.

    That’s bad journalism of their part. Didn’t even do the most basic due diligence–a Google search. And I guess the editor, if there was one, didn’t do it either. Bad. Lazy.

  234. 234
    debbie says:


    Not just high status people. Also people who other people thought could be trusted. Like pediatricians.

    Anyway, I found a couple of cards for the birthday boys at CVS. Tomorrow I’ll begin to rebuild a stockpile, but today, as much as I hate specific birthday cards, I came across one for a 100-year-old and could not resist it.

  235. 235
    Immanentize says:

    I know that everyone wants to prevent all ratfucking of any and all (actual) Democratic candidates. I am a soldier in that campaign. But the Klobuchar hits really keep coming. This time, staff maternity leave:

    Her office’s written policy effectively required those who took leave to remain in the office three times as many weeks as they had been gone, the Times said, or pay back the money they earned during their time off.

    A Klobuchar spokeswoman told the Times that her office had never required anyone to repay their earnings and would change the language in its employee handbook.

    So we don’t have to wonder if this is just anonymous sourced BS. It was her office policy! And the fact that no one ever was forced to pay back $$$ most likely means they followed the 3 times rule. I now need confirmation that she is not a horrible boss/person.

  236. 236
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: That’s not true. I’ve read those text interactions before–the stuff about group sex, he likes to watch, his preference for black men. They were written about. Perhaps not in places the LA Review of Books was looking.

    Reading that, and before clicking back up-thread to see it was about Manafort, I assumed this was about Roger Stone.

  237. 237
    MomSense says:


    I watched that whole stupid spectacle and if there was a good case to be made against OJ, the prosecution didn’t make it.

  238. 238
    Chetan Murthy says:


    That’s bad journalism of their part.

    Well, to give the LARB credit, Josh Marshall is a DFH blogger after all. You can’t expect a mainstream journalistic outlet like the LARB to slum with that type …… //s

  239. 239
    Yarrow says:


    Her office’s written policy effectively required those who took leave to remain in the office three times as many weeks as they had been gone, the Times said, or pay back the money they earned during their time off.

    I don’t understand what this means. They have to remain in the office? How? When? I mean, someone takes maternity leave and then they come back to work. In the office. How can they be more in the office than that?

  240. 240
    Mayim says:

    @Chetan Murthy:
    A too large percentage of the U.S. population doesn’t have a computer ~ or affordable Internet acces at home.
    Again, back to libraries ~ public computers and free wifi are a huge part of the public services side of modern public libraries. The digital divide still very much exists.

    Also, while cheap smartphones can provide some access, some things are either difficult or impossible to do on them: job applications, applying for unemployment, detailed research on a topic, and so on.

    At my most recent job before the current one, I often joked that my life as a reference librarian was one third genealogy assistance, one third computer assistance [no, I don’t know your email password. Yes, you print by clicking that little picture that kinda sorta looks like a printer], and one third everything else ;-)

  241. 241
    taumaturgo says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Could they all be centrist Democrats, craving to work with the other side of the aisle, working part-time to enact big businesses approved legislation and the other half of the time cashing the checks from big businesses? Yes, we should keep an eye on them.

  242. 242
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Nope. Manafort. Like I said, the choice of the word “cuck” wasn’t by accident with this crew. Also, the black men and the like to watch bit seems to be common. Rumors of that with Javanka.

    @Chetan Murthy: True enough. But seriously, those texts were everywhere. It’s probably more that discussion of them didn’t stay out in the public for long so the LA Review of Books people forgot about it.

  243. 243
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: for anyone who doesn’t know this part of Stone’s history, and with apologies to anyone who doesn’t want to

    Stone served as a senior consultant to Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign for President, but that assignment ended in a characteristic conflagration. The National Enquirer, in a story headlined “Top Dole Aide Caught in Group-Sex Ring,” reported that the Stones had apparently run personal ads in a magazine called Local Swing Fever and on a Web site that had been set up with Nydia’s credit card. “Hot, insatiable lady and her handsome body builder husband, experienced swingers, seek similar couples or exceptional muscular . . . single men,” the ad on the Web site stated. The ads sought athletes and military men, while discouraging overweight candidates, and included photographs of the Stones. At the time, Stone claimed that he had been set up by a “very sick individual,” but he was forced to resign from Dole’s campaign. Stone acknowledged to me that the ads were authentic. “When that whole thing hit the fan in 1996, the reason I gave a blanket denial was that my grandparents were still alive,” he said. “I’m not guilty of hypocrisy. I’m a libertarian and a libertine.”

    The Enquirer again….

  244. 244
    Chetan Murthy says:


    A too large percentage of the U.S. population doesn’t have a computer ~ or affordable Internet acces at home.
    Again, back to libraries ~ public computers and free wifi are a huge part of the public services side of modern public libraries. The digital divide still very much exists.

    You’ll get no disagreement from me. I’ll just note that the preconditions required to access a book in a library, already are sufficient to access acceptably-decent computer hardware at that library.

  245. 245
    chopper says:

    “It opens the door,” he added, “to a truly terrible Trump library.”…

    i don’t think obama opened that fucking door. trump’s library was gonna be a shitshow no matter what else happens.

  246. 246
    MomSense says:


    Dude(tte) that low info bullshit doesn’t work with this crowd. We are mostly curmudgeonly olds who actually read things and have been on this earth more than a minute. We also tend to like animals more than people. Citations, specifics – or GTFO.

  247. 247
    Mayim says:

    I think we’ll continue to have considerable hard copy books for the foreseeable future, unless even more changes happen. Why? People still like books over ebooks, people like browsing shelves, and budget ~ publishers have pricing structures on ebooks that are often unfavorable to libraries, if the ebooks are even available to institutions. Also, most ebooks can only be checked out to one patron at a time, so lack of wait time doesn’t happen.
    [Side note: the National Library Service, which provides talking books for the blind, has gone to a new system this month, where as many patrons as want a book at once can have it. But that’s a niche market…]
    So in many cases buying a hard copy is the better [or only] option for the library.

  248. 248
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: Imagine you take a month off for maternity leave — high risk pregnancy, etc. Then you would “owe” AK three months of work when you came back from leave or you would have to repay the money you received on leave. What if for parenting reasons you never came back? Then you would, under that policy have to repay your leave payments. It is not only heartless and sexist; it is probably illegal as well.

  249. 249
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @chopper: unrelated, I saw your post late the other day. I don’t often encounter fellow Material Issue fans in the wild. Props to you for your excellent taste in music!

  250. 250
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Valerie loves me.

  251. 251
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Yarrow: Rumors of that with Javanka.

    Jared definitely gives me a “that boy ain’t right” vibe, much like Pence and Santorum.

  252. 252

    @Another Scott: I watch Snooze Hour once or twice a week. Just to keep abreast of what’s going on outside my self selected internet bubble. I don’t have cable, and it actually took me over a year after 2016 before I could watch any news. So I subject myself to that drivel in small doses.

  253. 253
    MomSense says:


    And if they’ve never enforced it why do they keep it on the books? Or do they enforce it selectively when they want to get rid of people?

    There is no way such a bad manager/boss can be an effective president. I also think the sexual harassment and pay inequality between women and men on the Sanders campaign is disqualifying.

  254. 254
    Yarrow says:

    @Immanentize: So basically it was unpaid maternity leave. You could take the time off but you wouldn’t be paid for it. That’s definitely heartless and sexist. Is it illegal too?

    I didn’t click through. Is the actual handbook text in the article? The portion you posted appears to be a HuffPo summary of a NYT article, which I haven’t read. I’m skeptical of the NYT for many reasons. They often seem to have an agenda and their treatment of Hillary was appalling.

    Not saying this stuff isn’t true, I also consider who’s publishing what.

  255. 255

    Speaking as somebody with a degree in digital librarianship: it is established consensus within the field that you need physical records.

  256. 256

    @Immanentize: Exactly right. If she is that horrible to her senate staff imagine what her presidential campaign will be like, if she is the nominee. She will have a hard time retaining good staff. Her campaign will leak like a sieve. Her senate staff had one of the highest turnover rates and she supposedly had to be reprimanded about it by Harry Reid.
    When I lived just outside DC, I had some friends and acquaintances who were senate staff, and they would kvetch about their bosses at times but nothing like the stuff I am hearing about Amy K.

  257. 257
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Jared definitely gives me a “that boy ain’t right” vibe, much like Pence and Santorum.

    It’s the hair, right? I always look sideways at a man who has perfect hair.

    And never, ever, never trust a man who uses hair paint. Waaaaay too much baggage.

  258. 258
    Immanentize says:


    We also tend to like animals more than people.

    That quote is a keeper. Thank you!

  259. 259
    Lyrebird says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I agree and I also fear we are still not prepared for the disinformation flowing our way. Grateful to have BJ to read, not that we’re immune here, but geesh, I open up Raw Story and find this Reuters headline: “As 2020 candidates turn left, some Democrats worry about the center” with a picture of Sen Harris whispering something to Sen Booker and smiling. Maybe not the same picture of them used by some dude to fly his racist flag a few months ago, but a similar one.

    Booker’s pretty darn centrist, slammed as corporatist, but that’s not how he was portrayed in the article. The only named quotes I found were from BS folks and some Dem person from… Iowa?

    I thought of Reuters as pretty respectable. Gosh, when I was a kid I thought of the NYT as the paper of record. So much innuendo to keep track of.

  260. 260
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: Does Amy have a dog?
    I still haven’t seen whether her staff turnover rate is higher or lower than other congressmen, and until I do I’m withholding judgment. If I have the opportunity, I still plan on voting for Harris in the primary.

  261. 261
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Oh, he’s definitely outside the norm. I kind of worry for their kids, especially given what’s clear between Ivanka and her father, but that’s a whole separate issue.

    Pence and Santorum are hiding plenty. The photo of Santorum with Maria Butina cracks me up because sex is one of the ways she got in with the GOP. She certainly made the rounds. As for Pence. Well, his issues will come out eventually.

  262. 262
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: It is not unpaid maternity leave at all. It is paid leave with a cruel hook.

    At my University, we have a ‘requirement’ that everyone who gets a paid sabbatical must return to the University for a year. Everyone knew it was bullshit and unenforcable and so there is no requirement that you pay back your leave money if you don’t stay a year. Sadly I know too much about leave policies from my tour in central admin. I was in part responsible for changing maternity leave to parental leave (including adoption leave) getting some paid leave for staff (not just faculty), and getting rid of such post leave punishments. Maybe just a sore topic with me?

    The policy AK had is a control policy — applicable only to women it seems, that looks positive going in but is cheap and ugly on the back side. Me no like.

  263. 263

    @Yarrow: As I understand it, you were paid for the leave but you had to commit to coming back to work for AK for the same amount of time as your leave once it was over.

  264. 264
    Immanentize says:

    @JPL: her turnover and retention rate is reportedly much higher/lower respectively than other Senate staffs. That is one of the motivators, it seems, for her to take more aggressive actions to make sure staff do not leave?

  265. 265
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: that was one of the songs posted in my playlist

  266. 266
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:


    especially given what’s clear between Ivanka and her father, but that’s a whole separate issue.

    amazing how, even here, we barely Go There, because it’s just so gross. Emily Jane Fox dropped some big hints when promoting her book on the family, but people just kind of resist the issue.

    As for Pence. Well, his issues will come out eventually.

    I would wager many quatloos that he started calling Karen “Mother” before they had kids, and it started in private. Something like this, as Mel Brooks imagined it.

  267. 267
    Yarrow says:

    No, Amy Klobuchar doesn’t have a dog. Jeanne Moos on CNN had a kind of fluff video on the Dogs of 2020. It’s cute. It mentions that Klobuchar, Wilmer, Harris and Booker don’t have dogs. The video of Biden with Champ at the end is funny. He’s a talker! Link.

  268. 268
    Immanentize says:


    Does Amy have a dog?

    Now that is a good question. I spent a little time looking, and found nothing. Let’s keep looking!

  269. 269
    Immanentize says:

    @Yarrow: Thanks!! Now we know. Warren loves her dog!

  270. 270
    Immanentize says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:
    Not the same amount, three times the amount of the leave.

  271. 271
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Kay: Victim status is often an enormous driver of what happens in criminal justice – even at the charging level. Not long after the city council voted to “save money” and let the County Prosecutor handle all felonies that occurred inside the city from the outset – eliminating preliminary hearings where city prosecutors often dealt felonies out. Foolishly, I believed for just that reason.
    I testified at hearings against it, from the position that it was ceding a great deal of prosecutorial discretion to the county about how crimes that happened inside the city limits would be managed far too early in the process.

    My concern was that the County staff would be far harder on low status defendants than the city prosecutors were, based on both different staff demographics and prosecutorial philosophy at the management level. I knew this happened because I’d seen it when I’d been a prosecutor for the city, at that time barely 2 years earlier. What I didn’t take into account was how it would affect outcomes based on victim status – even though I’d seen those same differences in the shared docket municipal courtrooms.

    A few years after that decision, when I worked at a criminal defense firm. I walked a client to the grand jury room where she would testify against the man who beat her so badly that she lost an eye. City police had charged him with felonious assault, appropriately concluding that loss of an eye was “serious physical harm.”
    The defendant was indicted for simple assault; a misdemeanor. Our client, the victim, was a low rent drug dealer. That was prosecutorial discretion using victim status very early on.

    I did not shove that prosecutor against a wall while shouting at him the day the grand jury report was published as local legend has it, but I did raise my voice emphatically in a hallway.

  272. 272

    @Immanentize: Oops. You’re right, of course.

  273. 273
    Yarrow says:

    @Immanentize: Okay, thanks for the clarification. I guess it sort of works as unpaid leave if you don’t come back but the way it’s set up is just wrong. But also punitive. Ugh. Wrong.

    I’m kind of surprised those sorts of leave issues not are standardized across Congress. How do they get away with that? How are the rules not standardized? How can each office set up different rules for dealing with stuff that every office in Congress will have to deal with like maternity, or more correctly parental leave.

  274. 274
  275. 275
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: At least she won’t be accused of animal abuse. That would sink any chances that she might have.

  276. 276
    Yarrow says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well, no one really wants to talk about incest and sexual abuse of children. It’s horrible. Culturally we have a long history of averting our eyes and pretending it isn’t happening/didn’t happen. Only very recently has it become something we talk about more openly. So absent any actual proof, like Ivanka saying something, it’s left to innuendo and guessing. People can just ignore it. It’s easier that way. Sometimes we just can’t absorb how horrible things are.

  277. 277
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Chetan Murthy: DOS today, DOS tomorrow, DOS forever!

  278. 278
    germy says:

    #SarahKendzior delivers with a wallop. Wish everyone was as fed up. @amjoyshow @sarahkendzior— Mike Connor (@michaelhconnor) February 23, 2019

  279. 279
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: Dog ownership didn’t help Mitt Romney…just sayin

  280. 280
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Yarrow: We do talk about sexual abuse of children, but usually in ways that distort the problem by blaming it on the Other as much as possible. So back in the ’80s, when this suddenly got a lot of public attention, you had a lot of misguided training about stranger-danger, and conspiracy theories about gigantic Satanic cults that let people pick on occultist teenagers. When, in fact, it was mostly kids getting raped by their own parents, or by friendly authority figures like teachers or priests who exhibited no signs of being weird or heterodox.

  281. 281
    Immanentize says:

    @JPL: I have a funny story about animal abuse and juries told to me by Craig Cooley, one of Lee Boyd Malvo’s attorneys. Just to review: Lee Boyd Malvo was the juvenile that went along with John Allen Muhhamed during what became known as the “Beltway sniper” case in DC.

    SO … Lee was in the punishment phase of his capital case when one of the witnesses who was testifying about Lee’s childhood in Jamaica mentioned how Lee was a very good boy, helpful at home and killed cats. Craig told me that the second he heard that, he looked at the jury and they were all scowling. Grimacing. Cat Killer!. He thought his client was sunk. Death for sure for a Cat Killer….

    But that night, Craig got a call from a prominent Doctor who was raised in Jamaica too. He had been following the trial and had heard the cat Killer part of the testimony. The Dr. explained to Craig that feral cats were a huge problem on the Island — like rats might be here. Killing cats was necessary to stop then from stealing food, killing g chickens, etc. Craig ended up putting the good Doctor on the stand as an expert in Jamaican life. He says that during that witness testimony he could see the jury ease back and one guy even chuckled at the description of chicken thievery. Craig thinks that Doctor saved Lee (who the jury gave a life sentence)

  282. 282
    Immanentize says:

    @JPL: It wasn’t the ownership, it’s what Mitt did to his dog that sunk him. That and what Gail Collins did about what Mitt did to his dog.

  283. 283
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy: can’t find a word to disagree with. trump’s cartoonish, buffoonish persona protects him from being treated like a real candidate, and now like a real president. Bring that into a political/media environment already tainted by Broderist notions of Both-sides and What-about, probably best exemplified nowadays by Chris Cillizza, and a political party ready to burn the world down to get tax cuts and Kavanaughs, and you get a country careening into a Constitutional crisis over an Ann Coulter tweet.

    His own aides are leaking like crazy that they’re afraid he’ll give the store away in Hanoi because he wants/needs a “win”, a photo-op, which was always true. Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney are Very Seriously strapped in the seats behind him. St Colin Powell is silent, not wanting to damage his speaking fee schedule. James Mattis has apparently slunk away into silence, after having given The Beast public cover for sending troops to the border as a campaign stunt. I don’t know what kind of shape Dick Lugar’s in, but what good would it do if he joined the ranks of cable commenters. Bill Cohen and a bunch of other ex-Senators wrote a letter about two months ago, then faded back into the woodwork.

  284. 284
    sigaba says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I was recently informed that just about any floppy from any system since 1980 is readable and preservable, in binary or even in raw magnetic data:

    You might be interested that me and my girlfriend recently became member of the Glendale Central Library, just to get access to the 3D printers!

  285. 285
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The Next Big Thing.

  286. 286
    JPL says:

    @Immanentize: What mom sense said earlier is true. People don’t normally excuse cruelty to animals, but fortunately for Lee someone was able to explain why it was a good thing .

    I still remember that Collin’s piece. ick

  287. 287
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Immanentize: That’s why we need more Craig Cooleys, who understand the impact of cultural context and are willing to listen to folks who know. Of course the kid got a giant break when the doctor called Cooley.

    ETA:Ping me offsite if you’d like to hear some professional news no one else is likely to find interesting – advice welcomed, also, too.

  288. 288
    Uncle Cosmo says:


    The crap they’re using to print books now is appalling.

    You want “appalling?” Dig up any trade paperback printed in the UK in the last 30 years. IMO there was a conscious decision by publishers to maximize profits by using paper stock rejected by the newsrags due to poor quality. And shittily bound as well. Srsly. I own a number of books manufacture in the Aisles – some bought Over There, some imported by remainder houses like Daedalus Books** – & the (lack of) mechanical and (photo)chemical stability is truly appalling. (And the list prices on most of them were significantly higher than their counterparts Made In The USA.)

    Now for the true bottom of the paper barrel, I refer you to the USSR in the 1960s. (I own a number of chess books in Russian, as well as one paperback used in a 1970 intro astrophysics course [IIRC S. Pikelner’s Societ Science of Interstellar Space].) But their aim was to print & circulate as many books as cheaply as possible for immediate consumption. (The chess books – with, inter alia, openings analysis better & more current than anything available west of the Polish border – were so inexpensive that, even when bought from the British Chess Magazine after they’d imported them from the Soviet Union, even after being shipped halfway around the world, they were still dirt cheap. One of my friends got via BCM a copy of Shakhmaty Slovar’ [“Chess Dictionary”], 600 pages long & bound in boards, for less than $1.50.)

  289. 289
    Philbert says:

    I’m late to this great thread. Recommended reading ‘Deep Time’ by Gregory Benford on how to communicate thru the eons, for example atomic waste dump. Hint: Enourmous rocks. How about one sort of etching on crystalline materials to save large amount of source data? Digital does worry me due to 1984 fakery, but wonderful for the short run. I note after 2016 govt and science workers were reported to be saving all the data hey could to preserve and save it from trumpian corruption.

  290. 290
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho: have you been disbarred…again?

  291. 291
    James E Powell says:


    Every town had a rag man that bought old petticoats from well-off families to be turned into paper.

    When I was a kid, late 50s early 60s, there was a guy on a horse drawn cart who came by a few times a week calling out ‘paper, rags, paper, rags!” He had some kind of accent so it sounded to us kids like “paper eggs!” We called him the Paper Eggs Man.

  292. 292
    Philbert says:

    Recommend reading ‘DeepTime’by Gregory Benford, dealing with how to communicate across eons, like for atomic waste.

  293. 293
    James E Powell says:


    The museum, along with being an excellent community asset, can showcase what most people want to see – mementos of PBO’s time in office, some of the First Lady’s outfits, the tan suit….

    There has to be – HAS TO BE – a special display of the tan suit, and not some replica, the actual suit. I also want a travelogue of each of the family’s vacations, with a display showing the RW rage meter for each.

  294. 294
    Yarrow says:

    OMG, I did not know R. Kelly was living in Trump Tower in Chicago. Pedophiles just somehow seem to be tied to Trump. Gross.

  295. 295
    Alternative Fax, a hip hop artist from Idaho says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I do not believe so! But it’s legal stuff I shouldn’t discuss here.

  296. 296
    JPL says:

    The redacted version of the Manafort filing is going to be released within the next few hours. Does anyone have x-ray vision?

  297. 297
    debbie says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Same kind of crap paper, but now you pay $30 for a book. FSG and Knopf are the only publishers who seem to be honoring good paper any more (other than art book publishers etc.).

  298. 298
    sdhays says:

    @JPL: It’s been widely reported that she has the highest staff turnover in the Senate.

    I find the accusations disturbing (and the jackasses writing some of this off as “character building” can go fuck themselves), but it’s one of those things that I think will doom her candidacy if of it is even half true just by making the campaign run poorly. She has a lot of talented competition, so she’s going to need to bring her A game, and if she’s demoralizing her own staff, it’s just not going to be good enough. So, I consider the evidence that she’s not a good boss as one data point, and I’m ready to move on.

    Sanders’ 2016 campaign was rife with sexual harassment and he doesn’t really care. Why aren’t we having weeks-long discussions about that?

  299. 299
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: (In #288 supra, forgot to add: **I still bemoan the closing of Daedalus’ Columbia MD store & their transfer to somewhere in OH. But the founding owner wanted to retire…which is one of the more unfortunate [for customers] aspects of capitalism… :^(…)

  300. 300
    tobie says:

    @debbie: In a previous life I worked at FSG when it was privately owned, so I’m glad to hear that they’re still printing books on acid-free paper now that they have a corporate owner. The pay there was shit but working with the authors was great. And we got little perks like an annual trip to the Maryland linotype plant before they closed. Still remember of the glorious feeling of running your fingers across ‘hot-type’ books.

  301. 301
    Brachiator says:


    Paper. Paper quality is the problem. Old paper, through the early 20th century, was made from rags. Every town had a rag man that bought old petticoats from well-off families to be turned into paper.

    I recall that the title of actor Kirk Douglas’ memoir was The Ragman’s Son.

    And the remarkable old science tv series Connections noted an odd bit of serendipity. There was a lot of rags and excess clothing because of deaths from the Plague in Europe, around the time that Gutenberg brought the printing press to the continent. This provided lots of paper for the new printing technology.

  302. 302
    tobie says:

    @sdhays: I think this tweet gets it right:

    ‏Replying to @LaF3mm3Nikita @MalcolmNance @TheLastWord
    Dems are falling over each other trying to bash Feinstein and Amy right now.
    It’s Franken redux.
    Love rhem but they really are self defeating idiots who fall for the most incredible BS some days.

    2016 taught me to be skeptical of targeted hits. AK is the punching bag for the left and the right at the moment. Does she deserve it? I dunno. But there seems to be a concerted effort to rake her over the coals, and in the end this hurts all Democrats. You’re not advancing the interests of one candidate by bashing another. It just alienates folks.

  303. 303
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @tobie: I’m a ways from picking a primary candidate, but at this point I’m skeptical of all the accusation against Klobuchar. Is “throwing a binder” (if it happened) an attempt to injure a staffer or a tired and exasperated boss tossing a document she doesn’t like onto the middle of the table to emphasize disastisfaction. If she really went after ex-staffers’ future employment, that would be a red flag, but for the moment, I’m skeptical.

    I think Klobuchar running as the anti-Bernie, responding to his trumpian over-promising and dumbing down of the real difficulties of politics, where “I alone can fix it” becomes “There is NO reason, we cannot have…X”, and AK responds with “You’ll get nothing! And like it!” is a bigger problem.

  304. 304
    japa21 says:

    @tobie: Despite all the complaints about the so-called religiosity of the right, there is an awful lot of “holier than thou” attitude permeating the left. And just like with the right, it seems the farther left you go the holier it is.

  305. 305
    patrick II says:

    So, what happens to the paper records? Are they going to put them in a warehouse? have a giant bonfire? The actual documents should end up someplace. I like that they are being digitized, but someone, somewhere should have access to the originals.

  306. 306
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    David Corn @ DavidCornDC
    Not saying it was appropriate conduct, but the amyklobuchar fork story has now received more coverage in less than a day than Donald Trump’s mob ties received during the entire 2016 campaign.

  307. 307
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thanks for the link to that video clip. Now I need to track down John Belushi’s ‘cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger’ performance on SNL.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @japa21: Sanders’ entry into the race this week was clarifying for me. I realized I’m in the camp of ‘anyone but Sanders and Gabbard’ in the primary and, of course, anyone but Trump in the general. I’m reserving my ire for Republicans, bots, ratfvckers, and purity ponies in that order. All the other declared Dem candidates are in the words of Garrison Keillor “above average”–fantastic, in fact.

  308. 308
    Uncle Cosmo says:


    You’re not advancing the interests of one candidate by bashing another. It just alienates folks.

    Some people think tearing down the people around them is their best chance at being seen in their unobstructed glory. They’re correct – but not in the way they think. Ripping down the other trees in the forest doesn’t make the one left standing look any larger; it only serves to underscore how small & pathetic the remaining one really is. This seems to be a basic law of human relations.

  309. 309
    sdhays says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s received more coverage than the way he perves out about his daughter in public as well. He literally said that the biggest thing Ivanka and he have in common is sex, and he said this on national television. I don’t know why no one made a commercial just of that clip.

  310. 310
    tobie says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I knew the physicist in you would find the underlying law in all this morass. Yea for clarity.

  311. 311
    raven says:

    Home of the 12 hour thread!

  312. 312
    germy says:

    Bernie enters the race and suddenly there's attack videos on Harris, Klobuchar and Feinstein (a power broker in cenrist Democratic wing).— Jeff Gauvin (@JeffersonObama) February 23, 2019

  313. 313
    Brachiator says:


    She has a lot of talented competition, so she’s going to need to bring her A game, and if she’s demoralizing her own staff, it’s just not going to be good enough. So, I consider the evidence that she’s not a good boss as one data point, and I’m ready to move on.

    I have not been following this in great detail, and have not made any big judgment about it.

    I might pay more attention if she were firing people constantly or had a stream of unhappy people leave her staff.

  314. 314
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Well… the day we all feared is here. All the front pagers got real jobs.

  315. 315
    Baud says:


    Good afternoon.

  316. 316
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    Maybe all the front-pagers have been raptured and we lowly lurkers and commenters have been left behind.

  317. 317
    tobie says:

    Evidently the redacted version of Mueller’s sentencing recommendation for Manafort will be out soon today. We’ll definitely need a new thread to discuss!

  318. 318
    debbie says:


    I yearned to work there, but began at Charles Scribner. No Linotype, but I did get to touch Maxwell Perkins’s desk.

  319. 319
    Jeffro says:

    This thread is even slower than the conference I’m slogging through 🤣

  320. 320
    sgrAstar says:

    @Gavin: Utter bullshit.

  321. 321
  322. 322
    JPL says:

    @tobie: It’s out and I already read the redacted part.

  323. 323
    tobie says:

    @JPL: Thanks. Off to the Post for a look.

  324. 324
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @JPL: I liked this one.

  325. 325
    Mary G says:

    Manafort is a hardened and bold criminal!

  326. 326
  327. 327
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: But would she shoot someone on 5th Avenue.

  328. 328
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: or maybe TBogg is the new blog lord

  329. 329
    Another Scott says:

    @tobie: 27 page .pdf:

    As an initial matter, the government agrees with the guidelines analysis in the Presentence Investigation Report (PSR) and its calculation of the defendant’s Total Offense Level as 38 with a corresponding range of imprisonment of 235 to 293 months, a fine range of $50,000 to $24,371,497.74, a term of supervised release of up to five years, restitution in the amount of $24,815,108.74, and forfeiture in the amount of $4,412,500.

    Uh oh, Paulie Jr is in trouble…


  330. 330
    WaterGirl says:

    Since this seems to be the only thread in town, I will take a second to thank Another Scott and Gin & Tonic for the information they provided on one of the earlier dead threads I read this morning. Very useful!

    I always thought that people signed up for Medicare and Social Security at the same time — maybe tied together in some way. But if you HAVE to sign up for Medicare at 65 or you are penalized, and you aren’t eligible for full SS benefits until 66 (or later) it seems like those two things are completely separate. Is that correct?

  331. 331
  332. 332
    JPL says:

    MSNBC is saying that this report does not connect Manafort to Russia, but just paints a picture that he’s a crook.

  333. 333
    Johannes says:

    @Steeplejack: Awesome. Have you read Niven’s memoirs? They’re quite funny, and he writes affectionately about Prisoner of Zenda.

  334. 334
    WaterGirl says:

    I took a day off from BJ and all news yesterday, so you guys have surely discussed this already, but…

    Wow, just wow, on Adam Schiff’s open letter to his Republican colleagues. So well written, so well done. Adam Schiff is one of the people who help keep me calm. Ish. Calm-ish, because I don’t feel even remotely calm about Trump and his band of a thousand crooks, and all this talk about Mueller closing up shop.

    Thank god for some of the rocks in the Democratic Party. And Mueller.

  335. 335
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @WaterGirl: I started SS at 62.
    No Medicare until I turn 65. There is also a ~17k wage limit before SS gets reduced until full retirement age (66.5 for me)

  336. 336
    WaterGirl says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: Cole’s dad is having surgery today. Don’t know about anybody else.

  337. 337
    J R in WV says:


    I don’t like this at all. Libraries are for research – full stop. Both the digitizing and the “private non-profit foundation” are purely designed to squash factual investigation into the [Barack Obama] years.

    I don’t trust the “search” features they’d be implementing.. who’s going to guarantee the tagging is unbiased?

    I don’t trust their assertion that “everything” will actually be digitized.. I’ll bet big that they deliberately leave out anything even potentially damaging.

    I don’t like your comment at all — you assert that there is data to surpress from Obama’s administration, while in reality, every action, word uttered by Obama was under a microscope by Republican prosecutors.

    Obama and Hillary Clinton are the only politicians in our world today who were capable of living a completely public life under the 24/7 scrutiny of enemy prosecutors and never even being successfully accused of committing a crime, no matter how much time and money was squandered on the investigations.

    You, sir or madam, are a lying russian troll, forever more to be in a pie situation, thank Major^4 and cleek for that invention!!

  338. 338
    NotMax says:

    @The Midnight Lurker

    During the dire National Emergency front page space is rationed, don’tcha know.


  339. 339
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Gavin: The stupid is strong in this one.

  340. 340
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I think Dan Rather is right, and offers a useful reminder that Impeachment starts with investigations and hearings, not dramatic floor speeches and a vote next week. And Eric Rauchway is funny

    Dan Rather DanRather
    So we wait. We wait for the Mueller report. We wait to see what Congress will see and what will become public. We wait for the impact. We wait, because even impeachment hearings, should they come, would just be the beginning of another process.

    Eric Rauchway Retweeted Dan Rather
    This has been the news, from Samuel Beckett.

  341. 341
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The tide has turned. We need to let it build. Have a drink, or burn a bowl. Dream of the Bay of Fundy.

  342. 342
    J R in WV says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    I read Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, even Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr, inventors par excellance. Also not long after, all the Robert Heinlein novels.

    It appears not to have harmed me much. Made a good career in information technology, software development, database design, etc. Also have been a progressive Democratic activist for 50 years now. In spite of the Heinlein novels, or because of them? Dunno…

  343. 343
    Ohio Mom says:

    @WaterGirl: Social Security has an easy-to-understand section of their website where you can plug in your birth year and get results that show you what years you will qualify for what amount.

    And yes, for Medicare, there is a six-month window: three months before you turn 65 to three months after, or you are forever penalized. Which seems very smucky to me.

  344. 344
    Ithink says:


    Those aren’t your dogs are they? Or your Twitter account? Let me know! Too cute either way.

  345. 345
    WaterGirl says:

    @JPL: Holy cow. Amy K. had better not actually have any current or former staffers who felt abused, because if I had felt abused by my boss and she put out that video, I would be totally enraged after being mocked like that.

  346. 346
    Emma says:

    @Brachiator: I remember Connections very fondly. I think I’ll try to find it….

  347. 347
    Emma says:

    @patrick II: Valuable originals are preserved and put into dark storage. Some (old 20th century newspapers, especially from Latin America and Eastern Europe) can’t really be preserved at all. Documents of institutional value are often sent to offsite facilities like Iron Mountain. It all depends. Special collections and Archives spend a lot of money on environmental controls.

  348. 348
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ohio Mom: Thank you, your second paragraph is very clear! Re: the first paragraph… sounds like you have to have a login for that. Yes?

  349. 349
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @WaterGirl: looks like the guy who made it is an ex-HRC staffer and doesn’t like Klobuchar

    Danny Barefoot @ dannybarefoot
    Her staff didn’t make this. It’s a parody. I’m trying to raise awareness about her abusive behavior.

    from the replies– ETA, I watched the video and thought he was mocking her accusers, too

  350. 350
    WaterGirl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Curiouser and curiouser.

  351. 351
    JPL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Thanks for the info..
    Why would an ex HRC staffer dislike Amy so much?

  352. 352
    Chyron HR says:


    “Ex-HRC staffer” could mean someone who possesses basic worth as a human being, or it could mean someone like Mark Penn. It’s a pretty broad range.

  353. 353
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    ris Hayes @ allinwithchris
    .@ ElieNYC: “SDNY is going to be in Trump’s life for the rest of his natural life.” #inners

    “SDNY is gonna come at trump like syphilis, it’s gonna make him crazy and it’s never going away.” Chris Hayes, who is I think about a decade younger than me, reacts to things he almost wishes people hadn’t said on his show like my ninety year old dad reacts to jokes he thinks are improper but funny.

    ON that note, be of good cheer, I am going to make every effort to get off the couch and to to the damn gym. I don’t think I’ll make ninety but I’d like to make sixty. You might well see me posting again in three to five minutes.

  354. 354
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    As usual, late to the party. As I once worked at the Smithsonian, did research for museum exhibitions and have graduate papers, for me, the Obama Library is all about the tagging and search functions. The best research comes from looking in adjacent and obscure places — what’s on the same shelf in the library (not having open stacks is horrible), what else happened that day, what information is on the census pages before and after your main page. Also, the actual appearance of the document — the handwriting, the cross-outs, etc. — are so informative. So I would be okay with digital IF the document was an image in addition to a transcription and if there was almost to infinity flexibility in the search. Of course, even with paper, one was at the mercy of finding aids — cf this excellent article by Robert Caro on how diligent he was combing through the LBJ archives and how the archivists and/or the actual owners of the documents made some things hard to find.

  355. 355
    eclare says:

    Holy cow, that was a perfect response! Glad to see she can laugh at herself. Still not my fave, but over a year til I vote.

  356. 356
    chris says:

    @A Ghost To Most:

    Dream of the Bay of Fundy.

    Went down to Cape Fourchu last week, it’s a special place.

  357. 357
    eclare says:

    @eclare: And I see I was duped. Seemed like parody to me, too, but I think that was the correct text at the end.

    Wonder what the bad blood is? The swipe at HRC for not spending more time in the midwest in her announcement?

  358. 358
    J R in WV says:


    …we got little perks like an annual trip to the Maryland linotype plant before they closed. Still remember of the glorious feeling of running your fingers across ‘hot-type’ books.

    Hot-type was a strange and wonderful technology. I was a linotype operator for a morning newspaper, we used 6-level paper tape to drive 8 linotypes and had a couple that we actually set type on for corrections and late breaking stories.

    It was the family business, I could see that photo-type-setting was coming fast and wanted to learn a soon-to-be extinct technology.

    It was great fun, but high exposure to lead and related high-temperature stuff like asbestos. Also nitric acid for photo-engraving half-tone photographs, giant whirling machinery, squirting molten lead onto your lap, usually no harm done, we wore heavy jeans and aprons. Grew up in that environment, summer jobs from jr high on… those were the days. A wonder I have all my fingers!

  359. 359

    @eclare: No problem.

    I won’t have time to read all 300+ replies at the moment, but I do want to chime in a bit as an IT major. I get the very real concern about backwards compatibility in formats, but I want to assure people that it’s a problem archivists are very much aware of and have taken substantial steps to combat. This is actually a problem I deal with directly on occasion, and I want to delve into a personal anecdote for a moment that will initially seem irrelevant, but very much isn’t.

    I’m an amateur game developer. The game engine I’ve done by far the most development for is the Marathon Infinity engine. The original game was released for the Macintosh in the mid-’90s. There isn’t a Mac released in the last thirteen years that can run these games natively. They ran on the classic MacOS, and Apple completely rebuilt the OS around Unix for MacOS X. Beyond that, the games ran on Motorola and PowerPC processors, and the last Macs that used either of those were made in 2005.

    The developer of the game, Bungie, released the source code for the game engine in the late 1990s, immediately before (temporarily) being acquired by Microsoft. Members of the fan community used the source code to port the game to MacOS X, Windows, and Linux. Although the port (entitled Aleph One, after the smallest uncountable number after infinity) doesn’t mimic the original’s performance perfectly, it’s very, very close. One of the game’s features was that you could replay films of gameplay from small files that consisted nothing more of the keystrokes (or mouse movements) made while playing the game. The majority (≥98%) of these work fine on Aleph One with few to no issues.

    Many of the original tools created for developing the game, however, are no longer possible to run on modern computers. There are two possible work-arounds for this. One of them is that most of the most commonly used tools have been supplanted by modern utilities. The map-making program, Forge, is replaced by Weland for the construction of architecture and two programs, Visual Mode.lua and Vasara, for texturing (both have advantages and disadvantages). There are some features missing – Forge allowed you to texture levels in the app, and this feature is missing in Weland, which means you need to pass files between Weland and VML or Vasara each time you construct new segments – but there are many great advantages to the new setup, amongst them getting a completely accurate reproduction of how the levels will look in the game, not being subject to Forge’s restrictions on view distance and number of polygon sides you could see, and of course not needing to run an emulator. The other major editor for the classic OS, Anvil, has also mostly been reproduced by a new utility entitled ShapeFusion, which does nearly all of what Anvil does and has several new features to boot (though, for some reason, it doesn’t import images as well)

    But for those times when you simply have to have the accurate reproduction of the original games, it’s still possible to run them on modern computers. It simply takes a lot of work. The emulator Basilisk II will run the classic MacOS on modern computers with few, if any, noticeable performance differences. It takes quite a bit of work to set up, but it does have the advantage that once you’ve done that work, it’s done. You can copy the setup to any other computer that runs the same operating system and it should function fine. Once you’ve got Basilisk II set up, you can run any of the utilities that ran on Motorola Macs and get more or less exactly the same performance from them you’d have gotten in 1996. (There is another emulator for PowerPC Macs, SheepShaver, but it is a bit flakier.)

    There are emulators for almost every operating system in history. File formats may be supplanted, but the Internet has a long memory. A resourceful enough researcher can find old programs, old operating systems, readers of old hardware (see the $14 floppy reader above) – it’s simply a matter of knowing where to look. Which, of course, is what libraries are increasingly going to be about in the digital age.

    In any case, no self-respecting archivist is not going to maintain universally readable copies of data. This is a large part of why the PDF standard was created. It is a format that displays in exactly the same fashion on virtually every computing system on the planet. Adobe originally created the format, but it has been open-source since 2008, and it is maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with a primary goal being to ensure that it continues to be as universally readable as possible.

    Archivists and developers are very much aware of the challenges surrounding compatibility in the digital age. While not all software programmers take backwards compatibility seriously, several major document formats are created specifically so that they can be read by as many computers as possible.

    There are several other advantages to digital storage as well. For one, as several people have mentioned already, it is trivially easy to copy computer data. Copying paper documents is a time-consuming, tedious task. Copying computer files is a simple matter of dragging and dropping. I would suspect that most files online these days are hosted on more than one drive, so that if one of them fails, there’s a redundant backup. If a fire destroys your only copy of a book, that’s it; it’s gone. If a cloud computing service’s hard drive in Vancouver fails, it’s unlikely to be a problem – there’s probably another copy of those files in Toronto.

    That’s not to say that we should completely get rid of paper storage. No one’s arguing to do that. But the challenges surrounding technology are often rather idiosyncratic to old document formats. Computer developers nowadays are aware of the increasing difficulty of accessing old document formats, which is exactly why PDF has become so much more commonplace. This isn’t to say that the obsolescence of old formats won’t continue to be an issue, but archivists are very much aware of it and are taking steps to combat it. In summation, I’ll quote the late, great Douglas Adams: don’t panic.

    I probably won’t have time to write detailed responses again until midnight EST, just as a heads-up. I almost certainly shouldn’t even have written this much text, but it only took about half an hour, and I would’ve felt distracted for the rest of the day if I hadn’t. (Also, I’d been having difficulty writing words of any sort for the last few weeks, and this proved much less intimidating than the writing I need to get to next; I just proved that I can still write, which made today’s obligations feel less intimidating.)

  360. 360
    JanieM says:

    @WaterGirl: @Ohio Mom:

    And yes, for Medicare, there is a six-month window: three months before you turn 65 to three months after, or you are forever penalized. Which seems very smucky to me.

    1. If you have “creditable coverage” from some other insurance–say, through a group policy at work, or through a spouse’s employment–there is no penalty for not signing up at age 65. But you have to have proof of the coverage (my insurance company sends a formal letter each year), and there are still rules about when you *do* have to sign up, in relation to whenever you lose your other coverage, to avoid the penalties.

    I have been stewing about this process for months because I’m going to retire in a few months, and I’ll lose my work coverage. I’ve done a lot of reading, gotten material from the SSA online site, etc. My state’s bureau of insurance has helpful materials online, and the “Senior Spectrum” group around here gives free “Medicare 101” seminars, plus a free private appointment, to help people sort it all out.

    2. I’m no fan of the insurance companies or our health insurance system, to put it mildly. But the penalties are “smucky” only in the sense that there are in fact premiums for Parts B and D, and if you decide you’re not going to pay the premiums until you need the coverage, you’re not playing the game fairly. David Anderson could surely explain this better than I can, so I’ll leave it at that.

  361. 361

    Quoting Dana Houle:
    So people who don’t like Amy K being criticized

    People saying this should also say they’re OK w an elected official humiliating staff, sabotaging their job offers to control whether they leave her office, firing people over nothing & doing it in front of others, making staff publicly confess they’re bad at their job, etc

    BTW Dana Houle is not BS supporter and neither am I. I have been critical of BS from the 2016 campaign. Her family leave policy is pretty atrocious too.

  362. 362
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @JPL: Sigh. You mean, aside from giving polling data to russian-run Ukrainians? And related areas he explicitly lied about?

    Not connected to Russia at all, right?

  363. 363
    IOhio Mom says:

    @WaterGirl: The Social Security page on birth years and eligibility I saw when I was noodling around a while ago did not require you to sign in but you can set up a personal “my account.” Which you might as well.

    After all, they already have your complete work and salary history, not to mention your full name, Social Security number, address, and birth date, and who knows what else.

    Why shouldn’t you also have a convenient place to view your account info? Also, the amount you will collect depends greatly on when you choose to start, and you will want to know the actual amounts. Which needless to say, they have.

    This is a slightly different subject: as a person with autism, Ohio Son gets Medicaid through the State of Ohio. Every time Medicaid covers a co-pay (primary Insurance is still through Dad) or pays for a prescription, the State of Ohio takes note. To the penny.

    Every now and then we get a letter with a spot check from Columbus saying something like, “If you did not receive these services on these days, let us know, otherwise disregard this letter.”

    Then it will list something like, “Aug 1, Doctor D, $25.43, Sept 15, Pharmacy, $62.87.”

    A big reason Medicaid keeps these detailed records is that when Ohio Son dies, his estate (hah!) is required to pay Medicaid back. So they need to know what they’ve spent.

    Social Security is just as detailed on their record keeping.

  364. 364
    JPL says:

    @eclare: We all were duped.

  365. 365

    It looks like y’all got left on your own, so I posted a new thread. Thatta way ===>>>

  366. 366
    JPL says:

    @JanieM: There was a change in the law by republicans and I want to say Dick Armey was involved, but I’m not sure why they did it. If memory serves me, which it doesn’t, it had something to do with making it mandatory in order to say you can’t see the doctors you want or something. It backfired big time.

  367. 367
    Kent says:

    Is this thread still active?

    I’m not necessarily an AK fan but I’m not sure I really see the big deal about the leave policy. I worked for a decade in the Fed Government and was detailed to the Hilll for a spell (but was stilll being paid by my home agency). Here is what I understand to be the case based on second hand info:

    Every employee earns both medical leave and personal leave (vacation time) based on how long they have served. In the Fed government you earn so many hours per pay period for each. So an employee who wanted to go on maternity leave is already going to have a bank of leave stored up available to use. This is leave they have earned and can take with them if they move on to another Federal job or cash out if they retire.

    Leave without pay (leave of absence) has always been available. It is exactly what it sounds like. What we are talking about here is a newer form of maternity leave that goes beyond the ordinary leave that the employee has accrued. So you take say an additional month of maternity leave with pay on top of the ordinary leave you have already accrued. That is what AK is saying you need to pay back on a 3 to 1 basis by coming back to work for 3 months for every month of extra leave you took off that was above and beyond your normal earned leave?

    I have a hard time getting really bent out of shape about this. By not quitting the employee is asking that their position be held for their return. And I can see the opportunity for abuse by employees who know they are going to resign but want to milk as much paid leave as possible when they do depart.

    Either way I am surprised that there are not standard policies for this sort of thing in the Senate. Does each Senator make up thier own rules? If so, how do AKs rules differ from all the other senators: Harris, Warren, Gillibrand, Sanders, Brown, etc. That is the only real question in my mind. For that matter what do policies look like into the House? How does Pelosi deal with this issue? What about AOC?

  368. 368
    Chyron HR says:


    Isn’t it amazing that these anonymous but entirely truthful accusations seem to become exponentially worse every day? Like, I dunno, if she really forced you to get an abortion so you wouldn’t take maternity leave, wouldn’t you lead off with that instead of, “she made me feel bad when I came to work late”?

  369. 369
    Brickley Paiste says:

    These attacks on Feinstein are just so short-sighted. Name one other politician in the past 25 that she has served in the Senate who has been a stronger voice for the working class, the environment, and minorities.

  370. 370
    stinger says:

    @WaterGirl: Yes. I’m 65 1/2, and can confirm from recent/current experience that SS and Medicare are unrelated. Pay attention to snail mail from the govt about Medicare signup, which will start arriving when you are 64. Plus I got a literal bucketload of snail mail from would-be providers and, I don’t know, people wanting to hook me up with a provider? How do all these people know how old I am??

    As I am continuing to work and get health care insurance from my employer, I signed up for only the basic, required Medicare (Part A). I’ll wait as long as I can to start drawing down SS, because after you reach Normal Retirement Age (66 for people born in my birth year), your SS check will be larger the longer you wait.

  371. 371
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @J R in WV: Read every Heinlein juvie I could find after discovering 4 of them in the fall of my 4th-grade year in the newly opened elementary school library (Rocket Ship Galileo, Between Planets, Red Planet, Farmer in the Sky) The true beauty of RAH’s juvenile SF was that he never, ever, ever talked down to his young readers – the subtext was, Yes, I know this is a difficult concept, but you’re a bright young person, you can figure it out. Incredibly liberating for a “bright young person.”

    Dad bought me all the Tom Swift Jr. novels through IIRC #19, as well as a baker’s dozen of Winston Science Fiction juveniles. All gone, except for a copy of Ben Bova’s first novel, The Star Conquerors, whose dust jacket is ancient history & green binding is on life support due to dryrot… O tempura! O morays!

  372. 372
    Ohio Mom says:

    Why am I in moderation? (Oh, typo in nym)

    @JanieM: I think it’s smucky in that I imagine plenty of people screw up innocently. I get the free rider issue though.

    @WaterGirl: My comment in moderation was that you might as well sign up for a My Account. Social Security already knows your complete work and salary history, and everything else about you — name, address, birthdate, SSN (duh).

  373. 373
    JanieM says:

    @JanieM: Clarifying my own comment….I don’t believe the penalties are “smucky.” They’re part of the math of paying premiums to pool risk. And now I am truly wishing for a David A. post about all of it.

  374. 374
  375. 375
    debbie says:


    I’m not sure the guy who posted that is getting the response he wanted.

  376. 376
    debbie says:

    @Another Scott:

    Wow, the dollars!

  377. 377
    Another Scott says:

    @MisterForkbeard: The only thing mentioned in the 27 page .PDF dropped by Mueller’s team today is financial crimes. It doesn’t say anything about Russia.

    That doesn’t mean that other documents, sealed indictments, etc., etc., don’t, of course.



  378. 378
    debbie says:


    You can set one up in a jiffy. There are lots of pdfs you can download for more information about how it all works.

  379. 379
    JanieM says:

    @Ohio Mom: Agree that a lot of people probably screw up innocently. The powers that be could hardly have made this system (our entire health coverage system, for that matter) more of a red tape nightmare if they had tried. My sister and I have about eight advanced degrees between us, and we spent hours and hours last fall trying to sort out what should have been a simple change in coverage for my mom, who is 95 and can neither see or hear well enough to deal with the complications herself. That’s what first clued me in that I’d better get cracking on the timing and details of my own situation.

  380. 380
    debbie says:


    P.S. You are automatically enrolled in Part A (hospital) when you hit 65. No cost, but if you have regular insurance, keep an eye out. Someone at Cigna decided I had full Medicare and cut off my HSA. I had to pay doctors, etc., and then submit reimbursement requests to get MY OWN money back. It took close to six months to get that corrected, and I spent more than a few angry hours on the phone with them.

  381. 381
    JanieM says:

    @WaterGirl: You definitely have to have a login to see what your benefits will be depending on the age at which you start to draw them. And it’s useful to have a login, because those numbers change a bit each year and you can log in now and then and keep track of them. But you don’t have to have a login to download tons of stuff about Medicare options, plans, deadlines, etc.

    This link gives the contact info for each state’s “SHIP” (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) office.

    ETA: The info at my state insurance bureau’s website was just about the most useful stuff I found anywhere, in terms of laying out the basics clearly.

  382. 382
    debbie says:


    I’m doing the same. An 8% increase each year.

  383. 383
    Belafon says:

    This thread reminds me of many kindle vs paper arguments.

  384. 384
    Martin says:

    @John Barleycorn: I’m going to weigh in favor of the digital approach as well. One of my first jobs out of college was part of a research project to digitize and encode all ancient greek texts. The project started in the early 70s when it was barely even a feasible idea, and I got involved in the early 90s when most of the encoding work was done (John Christosom was a hell of a slog), but also when technology was making some pretty serious shifts.

    The challenge with ancient greek for classicists was that written works were very scarce to begin with, and finding works that survived the intervening 2000 years scarcer still. Getting a physical copy of all works from a given region or period of time to do lexical analysis was damn near impossible as in some cases these works were scattered around the world. The project prior to my involvement had already gone through one encoding generation and was onto a 2nd (this was pre-unicode, and even unicode doesn’t even remotely cover the myriad of symbols used in the early phases of a language moving from oral to writing, let alone one with a zillion regional variations in addition. So these were custom encoding systems – think of HTML as a crude analogue to how you might encode this text, or TeX for those with familiarity with it.) Distribution was originally handled by shipping reels of magnetic tape to institutions with enough money to buy a bespoke mainframe and terminals able to read it. In the 2nd generation distribution of the encoded works was on CD-ROM (the first ever use of a CD-ROM, mind you) read from a bespoke computer system whose sole function was to read the CDs and the encoding and display through a custom display the works in sufficient detail for researchers to reveal the intent of the original work. My job was to help move the project forward and eliminate the need for the bespoke hardware which cost many thousands of dollars (tens of thousands with the mainframe). We moved the project forward so the CDs could be read in a Macintosh and displayed. This meant that any researcher could afford to have the corpus in their office, rather than using the shared bespoke machine in the university library. We also worked on stemming algorithms and indexes so that researchers could look for roots of words and see all instances of that root. When was that word introduced, how did it spread over time, how did it influence other words later on, how did it’s meaning change. At the end of that work, I advocated to put the corpus on the internet (this was right at the dawn of HTML, Unicode had been out for a few years but hadn’t really found a role, UTF-8 had just been introduced) so I was looking at converting from our 2nd generation encoding and developing a 3rd around open standards – SGML + Unicode using a UTF-8 byte stream. We’d write a custom Gopher client to interpret and display the results, and being on open standards, hopefully we’d get the larger community helping with the work of designing fonts (which I was tired of doing) and building generic tools to transcode into later formats. Turns out I was trying to solve the same problem as Tim Berners-Lee at the same time, but I was too narrowly focused and hadn’t considered an entirely new protocol, and Tim was much more talented and better funded than I. The one element that completely stalled my work was that the research project was financially dependent on the $700 license for the CD, and I needed to find a way to maintain the revenue while providing the work online. There was nothing online at the time that was behind a paywall, so there was nothing to build off of. I think we actually got the business models right – a full subscription at $700 but also a per-result model so that an occasional researcher could for a few dollars do a search or access a work. But in the early 90s the mechanisms to implement that were a seriously heavy lift and beyond my capabilities. I could see it on the horizon, but it was well out of my reach.

    Anyway, the project is still out there, and they basically did implement what I proposed, but after HTML and Unicode were established, and the mechanisms for doing online payment were sorted out. It expanded their reach significantly so that undergrads can now use the tool through their institution subscription. The fears of digital rot and all I understand, but this was one of the earliest efforts at a digital library and also one of the hardest to implement given the unstructured nature of the material. Understand that the early greek works didn’t have the concept of punctuation yet – that wasn’t invented for a few hundred years. Linear writing was more of a suggestion than a rule. I mean, we were trying to deal with how to encode the words of the earliest forms of non-pictographic writing, when they were still experimenting with the concept, and it wasn’t uncommon for the works to be partial in nature – words cut off because the rest of the page rotted away, and we’d need to indicate that this word boundary may or may not have been intended by the author due to damage of the material, so it might continue or might not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ <-I love that we've come full circle to replicate pictographic writing using the very unicode that I helped advocate for 25 years ago.

    But along the way we converted the encoding 3 times, we changed the distribution medium 4 times. Nearly every technological aspect of the project was thrown out and replaced and yet the underlying project never changed. The project is 47 years old. Its founder died years ago. And the work can never be lost because it's now distributed around the world. Even if the project shut down, and it needed to more into another generation, people like me would be around (at least for while longer) who would be able to at least put the technological underpinnings beneath it again, and that job gets easier to solve as it moves from increasingly esoteric technologies that only I and maybe half a dozen other people on earth knew to technologies that at least a dozen people just reading this post know. Not only do these works persist forever (consider the lesson of the Brazil National Library fire to a traditional physical presidential library) but access to them expands massively. When I was 10 only a few dozen people had access to that information, and now every person with an internet connection can, for a few bucks, have access.

    I appreciate the comfort of physical media, but it's a luxury. If your goal is to communicate the benefits of that information, and provide the greatest research opportunities, it has to be digital.

  385. 385
    Sab says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m just repeating what everyone has already told you about signing up for medicare, but I actually just did it. I turned 65 this month. I can’t get regular Social Security for anyother year, but I had to sign up for medicare this year within three months before and after turning 65.

    They do send you notices about the requirement.

    The coverage can start on the first day of the month you turn 65 if you sign up in time.

    I chose to trot down to the social security office without an appointment in November, where I waited in line for about 45 minutes. When I finally got to talk to a person, that person just scheduled me for an actual appointment, which could be in the office or by telephone. I chose telephone. It was scheduled about six weeks out.

    On the day of the telephone appointment they called me about ten minutes earlier than scheduled. I answered the phone, we talked, she asked questions, and the whole process took about ten minutes at most

    About three weeks later the letter arrived with my medicare number. Then the card came. The actual bill for the premium came after the coverage had started. They bill you for the whole first quarter, so it’s a hefty chunk of change. And it’s due within a few weeks of the bill arriving. Then they will bill me when the second quarter arrives, until I finally decide to collect social security, at which point they deduct it from the social security payment.

    If you actually want or need to get coverage by your birth month you do need to start early. I started the sign up process in November and just barely got coverage in place by February. Plus you need your medicare number to get medicare supplemental and plan D coverage if you aren’t going the medicare advantage route.

  386. 386
    J R in WV says:

    We have knee-deep drifts of hardback books and technical magazines. The last big building project I undertook was a huge bookcase, each shelf is two 4×8 sheets of oak plywood, cut into E shaped shelves, it’s not quite full of what was drifts of SciFi books.

    Now I buy e-books on my tablet. Just couldn’t justify continuing to accumulate more books at my age. Will continue to re-read old favorites, but new texts are weightless and travel well. Not that I don’t still love bound paper, I do, just that at my age the neighbors will have a ton of stuff to go through.

  387. 387
    Peter VE says:

    @CarolDuhart2: I’m with you. Try and retrieve something stored with the standard technology of 30 years ago: Wang 2200 WordProcessor on a 5 1/4″ floppy disc. Three years, in honor of the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, the Folger Library lent copies of the First Folio to major institutions in each state. I went to see a copy: opened to the page in Hamlet which includes the famous soliloquy, it was as legible as the day it was printed in 1623.

  388. 388
    WaterGirl says:

    Thanks, everyone, for all the great information! I really appreciate it. Saving this thread, for sure!

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