America - The Official Thread

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I think if you looked at all of American politics, the number of sex offenders and/or people who should be convicted sex offenders would be incredibly shocking. The same could probably be said for many wealthy and influential people in the world too.
If you haven't sexually assaulted someone, are you even really a politician?

Politicians these days are too lazy. Back in my day, politicians were hard working men, who spent countless hours out raping their electorates. It's a thankless job, but someone has to do it. All those women and children aren't going to rape themselves, that would be masturbation and that's sinful.

This post brought to you by Sarcas'mores, the sarcastic treat that's fun to eat!
 
Heather Cox Richardson has a great letter today about the GOP clown show to “impeach Joe Biden”.

Which is as likely to come to fruition as “repealing and replacing Obamacare” or Trump’s “infrastructure week”, i.e. performative politics at its best.


Some delicious quotes...


“When you review the entire record of evidence of these hearings going back over a year, you've actually provided more evidence to impeach Donald Trump for a third time than you have in so much as laying a glove on Joe Biden.”


Lev Parnas said, “My mission for Giuliani and Trump would come to encompass nearly a year of traveling across the globe to find damaging information on the Bidens. This included trips to Ukraine, Poland, Spain, Vienna, London, and other locations…. In my travels, I found precisely zero proof of the Bidens’ criminality.”

What he did find, Parnas said, was that “the Kremlin was forcing [disinformation] through Russian, Ukrainian, American, and other channels to interfere in our elections. Ultimately this was meant to benefit Trump’s re-election, which would in turn benefit Vladimir Putin.”


 
Heather Cox Richardson has a great letter today about the GOP clown show to “impeach Joe Biden”.

Which is as likely to come to fruition as “repealing and replacing Obamacare” or Trump’s “infrastructure week”, i.e. performative politics at its best.


Some delicious quotes...


“When you review the entire record of evidence of these hearings going back over a year, you've actually provided more evidence to impeach Donald Trump for a third time than you have in so much as laying a glove on Joe Biden.”


Lev Parnas said, “My mission for Giuliani and Trump would come to encompass nearly a year of traveling across the globe to find damaging information on the Bidens. This included trips to Ukraine, Poland, Spain, Vienna, London, and other locations…. In my travels, I found precisely zero proof of the Bidens’ criminality.”

What he did find, Parnas said, was that “the Kremlin was forcing [disinformation] through Russian, Ukrainian, American, and other channels to interfere in our elections. Ultimately this was meant to benefit Trump’s re-election, which would in turn benefit Vladimir Putin.”


Thanks for the article. I read all the comments too. It's notable how civil and perspicacious they can be when they're restricted to those of paid subscribers. One of them linked to a Forbes YouTube video of AOC questioning Bobolinski. (Reading the comments underneath this was of course much less worthwhile.)

 
Last week John Oliver's main segment was a really good explanation about the student loan problem. Apologies to our international friends if the video isn't available in their region.

LANGUAGE WARNING
 
Man that DoJ antitrust lawsuit against Apple is scattershot as hell. Some of the things are so patently absurd to include in it (suing Apple over consumers' overwhelming preference for Carplay over awful manufacturer infotainment systems?) that it sounds like the kind of stupid crap the FTC would be manipulated into suing companies over by competitors.
 
Man that DoJ antitrust lawsuit against Apple is scattershot as hell. Some of the things are so patently absurd to include in it (suing Apple over consumers' overwhelming preference for Carplay over awful manufacturer infotainment systems?) that it sounds like the kind of stupid crap the FTC would be manipulated into suing companies over by competitors.
It's almost like they have decided it's illegal to make a product integrate pretty darned seamlessly with the company's other products.

Which happens to be the prime reason we have a wide range of Apple products in our extended family. (That, and having "one throat to choke" when things go wrong.)

That said, I think that things get into some morally grey areas in the policies of their App Store.

PS Speaking of apps, if I have a choice of interfacing with someone's business via an app, or via a browser, I'll lean strongly towards the browser. Viewers of "Super Pumped", the Uber story, will know why.

EDIT: The "Hard Fork" guys explore the case in a certain amount of depth in this podcast episode -

 
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Man that DoJ antitrust lawsuit against Apple is scattershot as hell. Some of the things are so patently absurd to include in it (suing Apple over consumers' overwhelming preference for Carplay over awful manufacturer infotainment systems?) that it sounds like the kind of stupid crap the FTC would be manipulated into suing companies over by competitors.
Looks like GM was right all along.
 
The leopard has gotta be getting fat by now.
A live look:
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That said, I think that things get into some morally grey areas in the policies of their App Store.
Oh, that's absolutely true. No argument from me there. But stuff like the Carplay thing reeks of "automakers lobbied the government to put this idiotic rider into the DoJ lawsuit;" and some of the other arguments (you're going to sue them because of green bubbles in iMessage and not carriers refusing to support any messaging standard newer than the late 90s? Apple will be supporting RCS for years by the time this case gets to trial so what even is the point?) are them throwing whatever they can at a wall.

Looks like GM was right all along.
GM should probably worry about getting sued for selling customer data to information brokers without consent before they start doing victory laps for a case that won't be decided for half a decade; nevermind as it pertains to a single argument that will likely faceplant in court just as badly as when the idiots running the FTC got laughed out of court against Microsoft last year when they showed up with legal arguments that were fed to them by Sony. The fact that the DoJ launched this lawsuit in the middle of that particular GM scandal isn't going to help their case any either.
 
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I mean, he's not wrong. Of course the Democrats have been working to whittle down the GOP's slim majority. If it were reversed, I would expect the GOP to do the same.
Rogue Republicans like the J6 caucus are making it easy for them though.

I'm not sure whether McCarthy's ouster counts as a Dem-led "op" but it looks like Charlie's just mad that the GOP's natural tendency towards treachery towards anyone and everyone who isn't the day-glo despot has a real chance of torpedoing their numbers advantage in the House so that they won't be able to use it to impede the business of government and create a mess that they can also blame Dems for in the run-up to the election.
 
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Oh, that's absolutely true. No argument from me there. But stuff like the Carplay thing reeks of "automakers lobbied the government to put this idiotic rider into the DoJ lawsuit;" and some of the other arguments (you're going to sue them because of green bubbles in iMessage and not carriers refusing to support any messaging standard newer than the late 90s? Apple will be supporting RCS for years by the time this case gets to trial so what even is the point?) are them throwing whatever they can at a wall.
I'm in the camp that says "I won't buy a car that doesn't support CarPlay." For some reason, car makers are clueless about decent UI.

I'm also in the camp that says "I want all my 'text' messages encrypted".

So no argument from me!
 
Amazing. Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) has announced that he's leaving the U.S. House of Representatives April 17th, before the end of his term. The seat that he's vacating is a likely Republican hold.

BUT!!!

Wisconsin state law provides that a special primary and general election will be held to fill a seat vacated up until the second Tuesday in April. Seats vacated after the second Tuesday of April will be filled on the standard election schedule.

Screenshot-20240322-180938-Drive.jpg


So this looks like a big ol' "**** you" to the GOP, whose narrow House majority will be even narrower until January.
 
When Ken Buck resigned, he said "I think it's the next three people that leave that they're going to be worried about." And now Gallagher has resigned early. Seems like Buck knew what he was talking about. (Which is a first.) With those two leaving, that leaves the GOP majority at just 217-213 over the Democrats. If one Republican votes with the Democrats on something, they win 216-214. But if two Republicans defect on a vote, it's a 215-215 tie, which means a loss. If, as Buck was hinting, two more Republicans resign, then they can't even afford one defection. And if there are GOP absences during a vote? I am suffering the sin of Schadenfreude.
 
Last week John Oliver's main segment was a really good explanation about the student loan problem. Apologies to our international friends if the video isn't available in their region.

LANGUAGE WARNING

I liked it but I do take issue with the complaint that one can pay and not make progress on the principle. Oliver shows one person who is outraged to have paid for 10 years and made little progress on paying the loan off. Now we can complain about what the interest rate is, but the idea that the loan minimum payment should be higher I think is a bad one. If anything, student loan minimum payments should potentially even be interest only. It's a feature of the loan to not require a high minimum payment. It's nicer if the loan requires the lowest minimum possible for loan holders. I'd have preferred if that portion of the segment concentrated on passing information to the borrower about what the minimum payment really does for them, so that there's less confusion.

Lots of other points landed. One of the biggest being that taking out $100k of debt from a random institution that will try to flunk you out on purpose and leave you nothing to show for it while you're a teenager who can't even drink is a lot of responsibility and obviously results in people getting in over their heads.

I would add that those same teenagers probably haven't had much opportunity to figure out who to trust and who to listen to when making these big decisions.
 
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An anti-vax loon who recently tried to excuse his association with Epstein as follows:

“I’m in New York for most of my life. You run into everybody in New York,” Kennedy said. “I mean, I know Harvey Weinstein. I knew Roger Ailes. I knew, O.J. Simpson came to my house. Bill Cosby came to my house.”

But you prefer him, OK!
So if Jeffrey Dahmer came to your house or you were friends back in the day, that would make you a serial killer too? :confused: Certainly the company you keep can say something about yourself, but it's a mistake to assume too much about RFK over something inconclusive, while at the same time ignore Hunter and his little laptop which actually seems pretty damn conclusive according to pictures posted on some social networks like twitter.

BTW how many more people have to come out with vaccine injuries before the whole "anti vax loon" label finally dies. Besides most are not even "anti vaxxers" they are anti covid vax, and perhaps you should listen to them before you take another one for Bourla or some other big pharma CEO.

 
BTW how many more people have to come out with vaccine injuries before the whole "anti vax loon" label finally dies. Besides most are not even "anti vaxxers" they are anti covid vax, and perhaps you should listen to them before you take another one for Bourla or some other big pharma CEO.
So science disagrees with that. Vaccine injuries are definitely a thing, but the risk of cardiovascular complications is higher if you get COVID than if you get vaccinated. No vaccine is perfect and every vaccine carries some risk with it, but what medical professionals do is weigh the risks of the vaccine against the risks from the disease. It's why some people are specifically told not to get vaccinated.

And I'm always going to trust a peer-reviewed scientific study over the "trust me bro" line of thinking anti-vaxxers use.
 
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