About that Prairie Home Companion Thing

It sounded like Brad Paisley was just listing euphemisms for idle chitchat, but he may very well have been giving a shout-out to us. Here is why.

I know Brad. We’re not BFF’s and I haven’t talked to him in decades, but he grew up in Glen Dale, WV, which is basically known as the speed trap between Wheeling and Moundsville on Route 2 about 20 miles from Balloon Juice World HQ. He attended West Liberty University, which is approximately 5 miles from Balloon Juice World HQ, and while he was there, he had a professor in English named John Cole. You know him as the man behind the voice here, mortified to see his wife filming his dogs drying off on the furniture:

At any rate, my dad taught there, and for years ran Elderhostels during the summer, which was basically summer camp for the olds. They would come and do all sorts of things, take classes, attend lectures, tour the area, and every now and then they would have Intergenerational Elderhostels, where grandparents would come with their grandchildren for a week of camp. Dad thought Brad was very talented and a great kid, and he would come to camp one night and play for them all. This was during the 1992-1997 yeas, before he was famous.

So it may be just coincidence, or he may actually be a reader. Who knows?

Trolling in the deep

@ProfJeffJarvis is the only thing that makes twitter worth reading for me.

His fake Innovation Party piece (deleted, but you can read it here) is the best piece of parody trolling I’ve seen in quite some time.

All the illusions were just a parade

I’ll be voting for Hillary later today.  Why?  I think she seems smarter than Bernie.  Either one would be a fine president.

I won’t attempt to convince anyone to agree with me because I’ve become skeptical of the value of reason itself.  I now believe this:


Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given the exceptional dependence of humans on communication and their vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of evidence in the psychology of reasoning and decision making can be reinterpreted and better explained in the light of this hypothesis. Poor performance in standard reasoning tasks is explained by the lack of argumentative context. When the same problems are placed in a proper argumentative setting, people turn out to be skilled arguers. Skilled arguers, however, are not after the truth but after arguments supporting their views.

I used to feel bad that our political system might be collapsing under the weight of its own derp, but now I feel that perhaps it’s no worse than any other political system.  Human beings exist largely to create and consume derp.

Damn it, Janet!

I’ve been a little disappointed in the low level of vitriol n’ derp so far in the Democratic campaign, so I was glad to see Susan Sarandon say maybe Trump would be better than Hillary because revolution.

Of course, the reality is that almost no Bernie supporters will vote for a Republican in November if Hillary’s the nominee and almost no Hillary supporters will vote Republican in November if Bernie’s the nominee.

On the other hand, I’m not so sure about the #NeverTrump people. I originally thought they’d all come around to Trump if he’s the nominee (I don’t think it’s a given he will be) but now I’m not so sure. Federal Republican office holders and national GOP party operatives have to back him because it’s the smart move (Tessio was always smarter), but I wonder if the conservative punditocracy can use the Trumpocalypse to prove to the world that they truly are independent-minded Burkeans of no clique or party.

Is there any chance that we could see a post-Both Sides Do It campaign? I’m not talking about the real dead enders — I know Ron Fournier will be in a bunker tweeting death to the duopoly for years after our current political system, as well as twitter, have ceased to exist. But now that Cokie herself is committing journalism against Trump….

Another Site Update

You all still suck.


I have no desire to do anything but play video games.

A Quick Moment to Clear Something Up

This from the previous post has pissed a lot of people off:

If historians were honest, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama would be listed as the best moderate Republican Presidents of the last 100 years.

When I said that, I may not be saying it well enough to demonstrate exactly what I am thinking. I don’t mean it as an attack on Obama or Clinton or Democrats, I mean to mock Republicans. Obama and Clinton have done basically all the things that Republicans for decades have claimed they want from government. They’ve balanced budgets, turned the economy around (twice), reduced, re-written, and updated regulations and the regulatory environment, advanced free trade, cut public sector jobs, not proposed any radical legislation, etc., ad nauseum. They’ve done all the things that Republicans CLAIM fall under the good government GOP manual.

If I honestly believed that Republicans believed in doing that stuff, I might still be one. But they don’t. The GOP is currently a radical group of self-promoting nihilists who use instability to advance their day to day shifting goals. And this is all of them- look what they have done every where they have their way, whether it is Kansas or Louisiana or the US under Bush, and compare it to what the Dems have done. Look at the mess the Republicans created in California, and look at it now after a few years of Jerry Brown.

You can watch it unfold in WV and Kentucky the next few years. Neither has been a role model for what a state should be, but in WV under Tomblin and Manchin before him, our bills were paid, we were not investing as much as we should in some eras and had a lot of problems, but our credit rating was stable and we were in the black and storing money in rainy day funds. Kentucky under Bashear was similar.

Now, WV has a bunch of ignoramus Republicans running the show, and basically our state has gone from a moderate livery service to an uber driver with 6 dui convictions, a meth habit, a gun fetish, and a god complex.

That’s what I meant in the previous post. It’s amazing how dysfunctional our country has come when a competent person like Obama just doing his job is viewed as a Jedi Knight playing 12 dimensional chess.

I hope you won’t see me in my ragged company

A friend and former co-blogger (at the local blog I used to write at) is Facebook-sharing some piece from Daily Kos about how Bill Clinton should be arrested for blocking a polling place. This got me wondering, and I probably don’t want to know the answer, but I’ll ask anyway: how bad is the Clinton hate on Daily Kos right now? Some braver soul than I among you must go there sometimes.

(I’ll vote for whoever the Democratic nominee is. They’d both be much better presidents than the alternatives.)