Bloomberg Just Went Full Streisand Effect

And that’s not a good thing (for him, anyway). Yesterday, for reasons largely unclear*, the Bloomberg campaign attacked several Sanders staffers. I’ll be the first to admit that Gray, Sirota, and Turner occasionally act like idiots online**, but, still, it’s hard for me to see what the broadside did, other than draw attention to Bloomberg’s deficiencies (hence the reference to the Streisand Effect). Leaving aside some prattling about unity (from the campaign of a man who has supported Republicans in the recent past), here’s the bill of particulars–sadly, I’m not on the Bloomberg campaign email list (not sad at all akshually), so it’s a screenshot:

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The first tweet is stupid, I grant you that. There are lots of reasons why someone might not condone a tweet–and it’s a fucking tweet, so who gives a crap, anyway?–but that doesn’t mean said someone is a “fence sitting enabler.” A press secretary/outreach person should be smarter than that (then again, that sort of belligerence is par for the course for Republican press secretaries). But the other tweets are… fine.

The second, fifth, and sixth tweets accuse Bloomberg of being an oligarch. Problem is, he is an oligarch. He is one of the wealthiest people in the world, and has used that wealth to further his own political career and political causes. He gave money to New York City charities to build up political goodwill, and then, in return, got their support to provide him and him alone an exemption to the limit of two terms as mayor. That’s exactly what an oligarch would do. Why on earth would Bloomberg want to draw attention to this?

The third tweet also is fair: Bloomberg appears to have radically changed his opinion on some key economic issues like the minimum wage from those he held at the tender age of…seventy. Maybe you disagree with the distrust, but it certainly seems fair to me, and, again, why does Bloomberg want to draw attention to this?

The fourth tweet is also a nothingburger. Arguing if Mayor Stop-and-Frisk is more or less racist than President Build-the-Wall is like asking if an animal torturer is better or worse than someone who exposes himself to children: there are no good sides here, and both are awful in their own way.

I realize Bloomberg’s play probably isn’t to win as much as it is to drag Sanders down–and Warren supporters, don’t think for a moment that, if he succeeds, he won’t attack Warren; he will attack Warren if she appears to pose a threat because hates them equally. That said, I’m not even sure this helps tear down Sanders. Most people aren’t on Twitter, and even those who are, have little or no experience with TEH BERNIE BROS! or Chapo Outhouse (not a fan myself), but the proffered list of perfidy is very mild. This might undercut the BERNIE BROS! narrative as much as it strengthens it.

He did pay a lot of money for all this genius strategery though…

*Some have suggested that, since Bloomberg hasn’t been in a primary or in a debate, this is a way to garner attention. Dunno.

**My co-religionists are being murdered in synagogues. The drama among the left-ish podcast and Twitter fame sets with long-term grudges towards each other holds very little meaning to me.

Posted in Democrats, Fucking Morons | Leave a comment

Links 2/17/20

Trump_oligarch
Links for you. Science:

On grant funding lotteries.
A Smithsonian team discovered a new coronavirus. The story behind that effort shows what it takes to get ahead of potential pandemics
What happens next in the coronavirus outbreak? We mapped 8 scenarios.
Colombian university fires prominent biologist accused of sexual harassment
What Bacterial Cultures Reveal About Ours: Dairying is one of the great puzzles of history. An archaeologist set out to unravel it and, in the process, discovered Mongolia’s hidden wealth of endangered microbes.

Other:

Bill Kristol Has No Legitimate Role in Selecting a Democratic Nominee
Lower Income Towns in New Hampshire Voted Heavily for Sanders; Richer Towns Did the Opposite

Bernie Sanders wades into a local education issue, criticizes D.C. decision to close school (as someone who has no voting representation in Congress, I appreciate this)
The United States Has a Deadbeat Leader, So We Won’t Be Paying Our Debts
Our Brand Is Incompetence
Coronavirus and Concentration: Should the FDA Have Anti-Monopoly Authority?
Metro Transit Police held a competition to encourage arrests and other enforcement
House Democrats ask Secret Service for details about its payments to Trump’s company
The State of Georgia Is in Play
The Slow-Boil Revolt
Bernie Sanders Has Already Won
We Once Fought Jihadists. Now We Battle White Supremacists.
Is the CIA’s Director Going Full MAGA?
Inside Mark Zuckerberg’s Lost Notebook
The Notorious Michael R. Bloomberg
End the GOP: In order to save our democracy, we must not merely defeat the Republican Party.
And Then Disappears
The Kids Like Bernie. Maybe Everyone Else Should Listen.
If Trump Is Allowed to Turn the Justice Department Into a Political Weapon, No One Is Safe
The Secret History of Page Six

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Buttigieg’s Centrist Healthcare Fantasy

It takes the worst parts of the ACA and…makes them worse. Many moons ago, some asshole with a blog told you that, based on the experience of Romneycare, the part that would be bad–because it was politically fraught because it would make healthcare unaffordable–was making people who really couldn’t afford it pay significant healthcare premiums, and then pay additional co-pays and deductibles. So Pete Buttigieg has decided to double down on that aspect of the ACA (‘Obamacare’; boldface mine):

It [Buttigieg’s healthcare plan] tells us clearly that uninsured people who show up to health care establishments will be cared for and that the government will pay for it. Then it tells us uninsured people will be retroactively enrolled.

But does this mean only people who went to the doctor that year will be retroactively enrolled? In that case, it would never make sense for anyone to buy insurance because they could always wait and see if they need it and then get retroactively enrolled.

Or does it mean all uninsured people will be retroactively enrolled, in which case this is just a sly way of saying Buttigieg’s proposal is a supercharged version of the wildly unpopular Obamacare individual mandate?

Jeff Stein at the Washington Post got to the bottom of this question in December and reported that it is the latter: the Obamacare mandate on steroids. Under Buttigieg’s plan, rather than paying a $695 fine at the end of the year if you are uninsured (as in the now-repealed Obamacare mandate), you could pay a fine as high as $7,000. This sort of lump sum shock is going to wreck most of the households hit with it and be even more of a political disaster than the much more modest Obamacare fine, which was itself a bit of a political disaster.

People who forgo purchasing healthcare typically can’t afford a fine in the thousands of dollars. I probably shouldn’t have used double down, but more like ‘order of magnitude down.’ But Buttigieg’s plan gets worse:

In the first part of Buttigieg’s plan, he says he is going to automatically enroll the millions of uninsured people with incomes low enough to already be eligible for free insurance:

Over half of people with no insurance are eligible for either free insurance or an affordable insurance option. Anyone eligible for free coverage in Medicaid or the public option will be automatically enrolled, and those eligible for subsidized coverage will have a simple enrollment option.

Upon reading this, you should wonder to yourself: how on earth is the bureaucracy going to be able to automatically determine, in real time, who the low income people are that are eligible for free insurance?

…Nobody has any idea how you could possibly identify people in real time who slip into eligibility but never go to the welfare office to fill out the forms. This is because it is not possible. Income information is not reported in real time. Household changes are not reported in real time. For as much as the left gets dinged for its belief that the bureaucracy can accomplish great things, it is really highly-targeted centrist plans that reveal the most insane levels of optimism in the capabilities of the bureaucracy.

This is, in a nutshell, what is wrong with “technocracy” as it has come to be known in the discourse. What masquerades as technical competence and a light touch is, more often than not, really science fantasy delusions about what a state can actually successfully administer.

This is “liberalism as designed by a fucking moron who hasn’t been paying attention for the last three decades.

An impossible to accurately administer plan that hits people with thousands of dollars of expenses they can’t afford. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted in Fucking Morons, Healthcare | 1 Comment

Links 2/16/20

Trump_nigerianmayors
Links for you. Science:

Florida oysters are a lot smaller than they used to be. Climate change may be the reason
The Trump administration has made the US less ready for infectious disease outbreaks like coronavirus
The US Fast-Tracked a Coronavirus Test to Speed Up Diagnoses
Did pangolins spread the China coronavirus to people? Genetic sequences of viruses isolated from the scaly animals are 99% similar to that of the circulating virus — but the work is yet to be formally published.
Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.? (2020 edition)

Other:

The Sanders Doctrine: The presidential candidate wants to redefine American power. (related posts here and here)
The Obsolete Politics of James Carville (“Carvillian politics cannot go beyond analyzing the thin skein of polling and focus group data and then adopting whatever positions come out ahead. This is a Democratic politics that has persuaded itself never to try to persuade.”)
How Corporations Are Forcing Their Way Into America’s Public Schools
Some Experts Worry as a Germ-Phobic Trump Confronts a Growing Epidemic: When President Barack Obama contended with an Ebola outbreak, Mr. Trump demanded measures like canceling flights, forcing quarantines and even denying the return of American medical workers.
How Big Companies Spy on Your Emails
Calm down. Democrats are not in disarray.
The Doctors Who Bill You While You’re Unconscious
Why is Bernie popular among Dem voters but not Dem elites? Studying monopolies in different markets has give me a new perspective on the Democratic Party. Because the Democrats, as it turns out, are a concentrated market. (interesting; don’t entirely agree, but worth thinking about)
How Your Laptop Ruined Your Life
RIP, election night
As Trump openly corrupts DOJ, a former insider sounds the alarm
The District Still Has A Racial Homeownership Gap. For One Woman, Her Family Home Was A Lifeline
Why Bill Barr’s DOJ replaced Catholic Charities with Hookers for Jesus
D.C. Has An Anti-Mask Law, But It Can Be Hard To Enforce Against New White Nationalist Groups
Another Sign of Social Decay: Seniors Alone, Unable to Care for Themselves
Sanders Leading The Grassroots Endorsement Race (alt-party organization…)
Viral Alarm: When Fury Overcomes Fear
“How Could You Not Connect the Dots?”: Inside the Red-Pilling of State Department Official Matthew Gebert
SANDERS CAN BE BEATEN IN THE PRIMARIES, BUT HE PROBABLY WON’T BE
Despite Republican Obstacles, D.C. Statehood Is Headed To The House Floor
Here’s What I Do Like About Bernie Sanders
Bernie the electable

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Fear Is Making Democrats Stupid: We Got What We Wished For

With Bloomberg doing well in some polls, it’s very disheartening to see how MSNBC and a couple of other news organizations (along with some online sites down the internet food chain) have made Democrats so reactive and fearful, some are willing to vote for a polite, ‘racially tinged’, authoritarian Republican. Democratic policies and politics have never performed well in an environment of fear, but, historically, that fear mongering was external to Democrats: now, it’s inside the wire.

Democratic celebrity journalists, along with their fame-seeking experts have a vested interest in stoking fear. It sells ads. That a significant fraction went all in on Russia to the exclusion of other issues and problems, such as corruption, in order to avoid confronting their own failures hasn’t helped.

I’m old enough to remember when parts of the left, construed broadly, wished that we would have some equivalent of Fox News. Well, we got it, and those media are fear mongering just as much. It’s good to have less biased media, but don’t think those less biased media figures are our allies, even the ‘good ones.’ And Sweet Baby Intelligent Designer, don’t let them set our political agenda.

Things are bad here, maybe as bad as I’ve ever seen them, and I’m not young. There are legitimate reasons to be worried–I don’t want to downplay them (my co-religionists are being murdered in our synagogues. For example). But we have become so scared, we think Bloomberg will be the answer, even though the very same polls some are so obsessed with suggest he wouldn’t do well against Il Trumpe.

We are not thinking clearly, and too many supposedly-Democratic friendly news sources are making it worse.

Posted in Democrats, News Media, Resistance Rebellion And Death | 2 Comments

In Case You Missed It…

…a week of Mad Biologist links:

Duke Zeibert’s

The Need for Democratic Litmus Tests

There Are Two Democratic Parties

Congress Finally Starts to Fix Its USPS Mess

The Fierce Urgency of Healthcare

Democrats Should Have Gone After Emoluments

Posted in Weekly Roundup | Leave a comment

Links 2/14/20

Trump_alwayscovfefe
Links for you. Science:

The scientists restoring a gold-mining disaster zone in the Peruvian Amazon
This Professor’s ‘Amazing’ Trick Makes Quadratic Equations Easier
For the first time, a climate journalist will moderate a presidential debate
Experts Warn Coronavirus May Be Spreading Undetected in Indonesia, Thailand
The art of scientific deception: How corporations use “mercenary science” to evade regulation

Other:

Loving Elizabeth Warren means having a plan for when America breaks your heart
Iowa Democrats need new state chair–and new attorney
Pete Buttigieg is playing with fire — and playing right into Republicans’ hands (the Audacity of Nope)
Pete Buttigieg Funded by Russian-Linked Oligarch Who Supports Trump and McConnell (funded is a bit strong, still he didn’t donate to Sanders…)
A Group of Agents Rose Through the Ranks to Lead the Border Patrol. They’re Leaving It in Crisis.
The Republican War Against Public Schools Is a War Against the “Heartland”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg Just Messed With the Blog’s First Rule of Economics in New Hampshire
Elizabeth Warren did not fall for Stephanopoulos’ Socialism trap
Adam Schiff Is Famous. Adam Schiff Is Infamous.
D.C. Is Running Out Of (202) Numbers
And Now For Some Orwellian Crap About the Deficit From Trump’s Assistant Treasury Secretary
Mike Bloomberg secret racist tape worse than you think. (though a significant fraction of Democrats probably agree…)
D.C. Statehood Is Getting A Congressional Vote For The First Time Since 1993
What is driving Sinn Féin’s electoral surge in Ireland?
Trump’s impossible budget
Developing Countries Showing America Up
Vanguard is an anomaly in the investment world. Can it stay that way?
Yes, Trump’s latest Fed pick is that bad. Here’s why.
A Twist in California’s Homeless Crisis: Evictions by the Evicted
Personal Data of All 6.5 Million Israeli Voters Is Exposed (ISRAEL TO IOWA: HOLD MY BEER)

Posted in Lotsa Links | Leave a comment