Late Night Open Thread: “Conservative” GOP “Men of Principle”


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One principle, to be exact: “How can I best conserve my cushy job?”

Moore, who was twice ousted as chief justice of the Alabama state Supreme Court, has largely based his Senate run around his promise to make life difficult for Washington’s entrenched class, including his own party’s leadership. Moore has pledged to oppose Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among other things. But the fundraising pact is a formal behind-the-scenes step by the establishment to support Moore, after unsuccessfully spending millions to defeat him in Alabama’s primary.

The new fund, Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee, will allow Moore to raise $80,500 at a time from individual contributors…


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Let me understand your plan

What are the odds that Corker sticks to this?

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who announced last week that he won’t seek re-election next year, told NBC News he will not vote for a tax reform package if “we’re adding one penny to the deficit.”

He added: “I am not going to be for it, OK. I’m sorry. It is the greatest threat to our nation.”

My guess is Republicans come up with some kind of creative accounting that “allows” them to say that not one penny is being added to the deficit and Corker then votes for the thing.

But maybe since he’s retiring he can show some backbone. I doubt it though.



The martyrdom of St. Googlebro

Bobo says the Google CEO should resign for firing Googlebro because science:

When it comes to the genetic differences between male and female brains, I’d say the mainstream view is that male and female abilities are the same across the vast majority of domains — I.Q., the ability to do math, etc. But there are some ways that male and female brains are, on average, different. There seems to be more connectivity between the hemispheres, on average, in female brains. Prenatal exposure to different levels of androgen does seem to produce different effects throughout the life span.

In his memo, Damore cites a series of studies, making the case, for example, that men tend to be more interested in things and women more interested in people. (Interest is not the same as ability.) Several scientists in the field have backed up his summary of the data. “Despite how it’s been portrayed, the memo was fair and factually accurate,” Debra Soh wrote in The Globe and Mail in Toronto.

Geoffrey Miller, a prominent evolutionary psychologist, wrote in Quillette, “For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate.”

Why does Bobo think he knows anything about what the mainstream view is in any area of science? He has no training as a scientist. Quillete and Globe and Mail are both right-wing publications, not scientific journals of any sort. Soh has a PhD but is not a researcher, she writes for Globe and Mail and for Playboy. Geoffrey Miller is not a prominent researcher — there is no way you can call a 1993 PhD who is now an associate professor at UNM “prominent”. And he’s best known for this:

On June 2, 2013, Miller posted a tweet on Twitter stating: “Dear obese PhD applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth”.

Update. By the way, I don’t think it matters whether what Googlebro said is true or not. Most job situations are such that if you wrote a 100% accurate memo out about your co-workers you can would (rightfully) be fired immediately. (If you had to write a memo about your co-workers, you’d be much better off lying.) This is a very good point from a former Google employee (h/t commenter Walker):

What you just did was incredibly stupid and harmful. You just put out a manifesto inside the company arguing that some large fraction of your colleagues are at root not good enough to do their jobs, and that they’re only being kept in their jobs because of some political ideas. And worse than simply thinking these things or saying them in private, you’ve said them in a way that’s tried to legitimize this kind of thing across the company, causing other people to get up and say “wait, is that right?”



HR incentives and the Mooch

I’ll stomp on Betty for a moment:

Scharden should be freuded here.

Unless someone is in uniform and is receiving a direct order to serve at the White House, why would anyone work for Trump. The competent have mostly disqualified themselves by signing multiple never-Trump letters during the campaign. The hacks are being forced out by Bannon. And now the boot-lickers see that boot licking is not enough if they are manifestly incompetent.

This is not normal.



WTF but his e-mails edition

I just can’t figure out what is out there that makes releasing this tweet a good idea. Read about 3/4ths of the way down:

Update 1: A respected NatSec attorney’s reaction:



Degrading the public sphere (data edition)

Hannah Recht is one hell of a data visualizer and story teller on healthcare. She is assembling the bare county maps for Bloomberg and then she tweeted the following on Wednesday:

She goes on to explain how and why the government map is fundamentally wrong. It is a combination of people not being familiar with the data and an intent to deceive through malice or laziness.

American public data resources are an incredible asset. They are being degraded as we speak. This is why everyone who could yank a file from November 9-January 20, 2017 yanked files. We feared that there would be massive data degradation. And the solution of archiving public resource files on non-government servers is a reasonable solution to the feared problem of forgetting the past. It does nothing for the ongoing fear that current files will not be collected, corrupted or hideously and deliberately mis-interpreted.

This is just one small example in a domain where I have knowledge and passion. We know it is happening elsewhere such as the EPA and voting rights too. I think the safe assumption is that it is happening everywhere.



He can’t be wounded ’cause he’s got no heart

I have a question about the Bobo column that Tom eviscerated: what’s the purpose of saying there’s nothing there this early in the investigation? There’s no way to guess what exactly Mueller will turn up. All I can think is that Bobo is helping to lay down justification for eventually firing Mueller.

I also wonder what made Bobo decide he had to start carrying water for Trump. The vast majority of mainstream conservative pundits aren’t — Douthat isn’t, Stephens isn’t, no one at WaPo is except Thiessen. My guess is that Bobo wants to be careful to protect the conservative part of his “reasonable conservative” brand. Without it, he’s just an ostensibly straight version of Frank Bruni, wanking about college admissions and what extracurricular activities build character. That’s not going to pay his alimony. With it, he’s “hey there’s a conservative who supports funding for after school music programs”, to put it in totebaggerese.

To benefit from the lowered standards applied to conservative opinion writers, you have to maintain some amount of conservative cred. That means that if Trump wants to drop nuclear bombs, you have to at least support dropping conventional bombs. Otherwise you’re just another pinko.

We’ll probably see more and more conservative pundits work their way around to being anti-anti-Trump. It pays the bills.