Spiraling Decompensation Open Thread



Late Night Open Thread: How Can They Tell?

What passes for ‘real’ among the Repub cognoscenti:

(FiveThirtyEight reports Trump’s current approval rating at 41.9%)

ETA: Bess Levin at Vanity Fair has an explication for the ‘Google stole mah votes!!!’ bullshite Cole mocked this morning:

Seven minutes prior to the tweet, Fox Business aired a segment discussing congressional testimony from psychologist Robert Epstein. In June, Epstein told Ted Cruz that Google’s bias had likely resulted in at least 2.6 million undecideds voting for Clinton, and that in 2020, Big Tech could band together and throw an extra 15 million-odd votes toward whomever the Democratic nominee turns out to be. As TechCrunch notes, Epstein puts out “anti-Google editorials almost monthly,” and has been attacking the company since 2012, when Google helpfully warned visitors to Epstein’s website that it had been hacked to serve malware to anyone reading it…

In April, Epstein presented another study in which he argued that Google’s algorithms are biased because their search results are dominated by news from mainstream outlets like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, rather than conservative sites like Breitbart. In other words, Epstein’s basis for saying Google is biased is that it gives more weight to legitimate new sources and less to the since abandoned love child of Steve Bannon and erstwhile Trump sugar daddy Robert Mercer. Using this theory, Epstein tracked “47,300 searches by dozens of undecided voters in the districts of newly elected Democratic Reps. Katie Porter, Harley Rouda and Mike Levin,” and then claimed that an estimated “35,455 voters who were on the fence were persuaded to vote for a Democrat entirely because of the sources Google fed them.” Yes, people read stories from news outlets that have never had an entire section called “black crime,” and made a decision based on those stories. Or, as Epstein would put it, they were manipulated into voting for a Democrat by Google, a move the site may pull again in 2020…








Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Yup, We’re Doomed

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
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Like earthquakes, wildfires, and floods, recessions are recurring problems. And as with those (other) ‘natural’ catastrophes, it’s easier to prepare for them in advance and survive them afterwards if we’re not dependent on grifters, political cultists, and soggy-brained showboaters…

Catherine Rampell, at the Washington Post“Move over, Illuminati. The conspiracy against Trump’s economy is massive”:

… Trump, aided by his economic brain trust of cranks and sycophants, believes any indicator showing the U.S. economy could be in trouble must be fabricated. It’s all part of an anti-Trump conspiracy, he rants, according to reports in The Post, the Associated Press and the New York Times.

And move over, Illuminati, because this particular conspiracy is massive.

It’s led by the Federal Reserve, Democrats and the media, of course, or so say Trump and his Fox News minions. But it also includes the entire U.S. bond market, which flashed a warning sign last week when the Treasury yield curve inverted (meaning long-term bonds had lower interest rates than short-term ones, which usually predates a downturn).

Also colluding are the many farmers, retailers, manufacturers and economists who have been warning for more than a year that the burden of Trump’s tariffs is mainly borne by Americans, not China or other trading partners, and also that uncertainty over trade tensions can paralyze hiring, investment and purchasing decisions, which we need to keep the economy expanding…

The White House has reportedly declined to develop contingency plans for a downturn because it doesn’t want to validate this “negative narrative.” This is, in a word, idiotic. As others have analogized, it’s like refusing to buy a fire extinguisher because you’re afraid of feeding a “negative narrative” that you might someday face a fire.

Administration officials decided the best way to deal with recession risk, which they of course aren’t personally worried about, was through a show of force on TV. There, Trump’s economic advisers assured Americans they definitely, certainly, cross-their-hearts-and-hope-to-die don’t see reason to worry…

… Kudlow’s call for optimism has a whiff of Peter Pan logic about it: If only we believe in fairies hard enough, we can always save Tinker Bell — even when we’re sending her out into a hailstorm. If you believe, clap your hands; don’t let Tink die!

It’s hard to imagine nervous Americans are really this credulous. Then again, perhaps we were never the intended audience for such performances. Sure, maybe White House aides are trying to fool the public into believing recession warning signs don’t exist. But maybe they’re actually just trying to fool their boss.

A frightening conspiracy theory, indeed.

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)
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Chill Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Phallic Symbolism


That’s a version of the 100-round drum magazine that enabled the Dayton shooter to kill and injure so many people in under a minute. Think of it as a stylized totem to a particularly bloodthirsty god…


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An ABC of Election Theft…

This is amazing…a font created entirely out of gerrymandered districts:

 

Go here for a proper, high resolution image of the font, and the chance, if you’re so minded, to download it for free.

Here, by the way, is my first composition in this latest gem in the long history of typography:

It’s all a hoot — but it hurts too much to laugh.

(Note: this was up for ~15 seconds last night, but I pulled to avoid triggering my werebigfoot side.)

Open thread, jackals!