Danny Cardwell's picture

    #GolfLiesMatter

    “I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”

    Donald J. Trump

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    Charting Progress: Workers' Pair of Dice

    In discussing Kaep & whether he's being blackballed, I came across some graphs at Business Insider showing the typical NFL player's increase in salary - and the steadily decreasing chance he'll make it there:

     

    And then I thought of the implications for workers in general - what's our expected salary and performance trajectory, how many times will we be "traded", or have bad seasons or not make the cut in spring training and be pushed down to the minors?

    Where would *you* chart? Because we have the technology, the analytics to chart *everyone*, whatever industry. Like in sports, we have a window of productivity, peak performance, and then we often fall off or find a different groove and work from there.

    Projection Some: Russia's Sea Change

    In 2014, with Russia's shipyard lease in Crimea to expire in 2017 and the deal to extend it another 30 years on the rocks with Yanukovich's ouster, Putin brazenly occupied the peninsula militarily, invoking historical precedents and the image of "Greater Russia". But despite Donbas Ukrainians dreams of uniting with Russia, Putin's heart didn't seem to be into the conflict so much as reinvigorating Crimea, and the only significant action since was a brief push towards Mariupol in the presumed attempt to give Russia an easy land route to Crimea. But aside from laughable attempts to get Russian tourists to keep Crimea afloat economically with horrendous lines at the ferry, the Russians started rebuilding their Sevastopol fleet, where most of their global naval power is housed, within weeks of occupation (scroll down for better pics of the whole fleet).

    But perhaps Putin had a change of heart or wisdom about maintaining the bridge or land route to Crimea, as Russia's new $1.4 billion base is meant to open in 2020, not in Sevastopol, but in Novorossiysk heading down the Black Sea's east coast towards Sochi - firmly in undisputed Russia.

    This Black Sea investment might not have seemed the greatest idea what with Russia's relationship with Turkey on the rocks, but suddenly amidst significant surprise, Russia's Turkish relations vastly improved (with Turkey & Russia now arrying out naval maneuvers together in lieu of the short-term gas embargo). Erdogan also took advantage of the "beginning of a beautiful relationship" to crack down on Islamic dissenters at home and take off the gloves as to Kurdish rebels in Syria. [Some think Erdogan is just playing East off West, but it's hard to see what he wants from the West at this point, aside from a foil and scapegoat]. Putin's obvious benefit? Anything in the Black Sea comes out the Bhosporus Straits, i.e. through good ol' ancient Byzantium, aka Istanbul.

    Hannah Drake's picture

    Dear Colin Kaepernick: All You Had To Do Was Play The Game, Boy.

    All you had to do was throw the ball, boy. We concealed this auction block well, didn’t we, boy? You didn’t know you were on sale, boy? Didn’t we tell you to just run, boy? Entertain us, boy. Win championships for us, boy. Stay in your place, boy. Don’t you dare get these other slaves, Black men riled up, boy. Didn’t we pay you enough, boy? Why can’t you just be satisfied, boy? Stand up and salute this flag, boy. Honor your allegiance to the system, boy. Didn’t we give you enough money to entice you, boy? How dare you reject your master, boy. Didn’t you like your name in lights, boy? Didn’t we stroke your ego, boy? All you needed to do was play the game, boy. Keep dancing for us on Monday Night, boy. Make us rich, boy. We don’t care if you get hurt, boy. Our job is to break bucks like you, boy. Didn’t you know boys like you come a dime a dozen, boy? We can replace you with no thought, boy. Make sure our new boy is a controlled boy. Thought you knew we don’t trust Negroes to be the quarterback anyway, boy. We did you a favor, boy. How dare you turn your back on us, boy. If you are kneeling, it will be before us, boy. Ain’t this game your God, boy? Don’t you see how everyone else bows down before us, boy? Don’t you know what we do to Negroes like you, boy? Back in the day, we let Negroes like you sway from the trees, boy. Make an example outta you, so other Negroes will stay in their place, boy. Don’t you smell that strange fruit in the air, boy? All you had to do was just shut up, boy. We don’t have to kill you, boy. All we have to do is silence you, boy.

    KEEP CALM & CARRY ON, ISIS EDITION (PT 4)

    When I began this as diary as a "series", I pointed to Mosul as a metaphor for Nov 8, 2016, and true to form, the chaos of the ensuing weeks have thrown me off - but constructively so.

    Sadly and ironically, the progress on the "battlefield", Mosul's ancient tightly wound streets booby-trapped for maximum obstruction, has been replaced by the PR & propaganda battle over what really happened March 17, though largely this battle has been lost already - whatever the allies do now, they will be mostly remembered for civilian casualties, despite all the extraordinary painstaking effort they've taken to avoid them.

    And that should give Democrats great pause as well - the seeming victories over Trump & the Republicans the last few weeks can be ephemeral and imagined, with a PR loss pulled from the clutches of victory. As one person noted, giving Flynn immunity to testify can be a huge trap, and that's just 1 possible trip-up point. But I'm more interested in the idea of "cooperation" vs. "collusion" in how we go forward.

    armchair guerrilla's picture

    Breaking: White man from Vermont dismisses claims of racism, sexism, homophobia, slams Democrats.

    This statement encapsulates my problems with Bernie.

    "Some people think that the people who voted for Trump are racists and sexists and homophobes and deplorable folks. I don't agree, because I've been there. Let me tell you something else some of you might not agree with, it wasn't that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election," Sanders said.

    Where to begin? First, it's a straw man. Nobody is saying everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, sexist, homophobe. More important, this minimizes the undeniable fact that Trump's "win" was premised on explicit appeals to white nationalism and overwhelming support from white men. Needless to say, tens of millions of women, people of color, immigrants and LGBTQ, the ones whose rights are threatened, feel differently, despite the self-serving statements of the octogenarian socialist from Vermont.

    Shovelready's picture

    Can you dig it, Suckas?

    Hey guys, new here, but I just want to tell you all that I really “dig” this blog.  Get it?  I’ve been looking for years for a place like Digblog, where smart people gather to discuss hoes.  Backhoes, that is!

    librewolf's picture

    URGENT! Protect Your Online Information and Privacy.

    THIEF
    Courtesy Crocktock

    On March 29, 2017, Congress repealed the broadband privacy rules that blocked providers from collecting and selling your information (name, accounts, browsing history, financial transaction, pictures, everything you touch and surf to on your computer, tablets, and in some cases phones). Clearly there are few of us who approve of this move, and it is purely in the interests of broadband providers. However, there are ways for you to fight back. Some of the information below was garnered from an excellent article by PC World - Three Privacy Tools that Block Your Internet Provider From Tracking You.

    Too Big to Fail: Why Government as a Business Doesn't Work

    Much is being written about Jared Kushner leading another task force to make government run like a business, with the usual caveats about how it's likely to fail. Included are all the usual right and wrong reasons about government not being a business. But the lack of failure is the biggest point.

    American business is successful precisely because so many businesses fail, and are replaced by new trendy companies with just as much chance of failing. Amazon, one of our great recent "success" stories, didn't make a profit for years, and now 20 years later only pulls in profits of maybe 1% of revenues. Uber's much worse, with a 2016 loss of perhaps $3 billion. It's hard to imagine US voters putting up with such poor results. And those are the *good* examples.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Brexit vs Breakfast: Food and Free Trade

    The United Kingdom officially triggered Article 50 today, meaning the two-year march to Brexit has begun. The UK is leaving the European Union, and leaving without any concessions, any deals, any accommodations. It's the "hard Brexit." There are many reasons this is a bad idea, but let's keep it simple: the United Kingdom cannot feed itself.

    The Melania Trump in hiding mystery solved?

    I am watching her speak Live on CNN right now, on a serious topic. As it says at the bottom of the screen "Melania Trump Makes Rare Appearance at State Dept./First lady presenting International Women of Courage Awards".

    Though she is clearly using a prepared script, she is stumbling on some words and her accent has never sounded so heavy. Yet there is a sincerity to her delivery that it comes across that this is one issue she cares about.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Stop Taking The Bait

    Bill O'Reilly's sophomoric attempt to shade Maxine Waters wasn’t funny: you don't go after our Auntie no matter what! He thought he was being clever with his James Brown joke, but ended up stepping in a pile of his own oral feces. He tried to diminish the points she was making about the Trump administration and got away with it. We should call out his ignorance, but we can't allow it to overshadow the statements that put it on display. a lot of the outrage I’ve seen on social media has been just as distracting as his failed attempt at humor.

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    No Wins: Money, Power, And Disrespect

    I don't care if Colin Kaepernick ever plays another game in the NFL! Don't get it twisted: I'm deeply troubled by the prospect of a law abiding citizen having his dream stripped from him for making a political stand about an issue that's important to millions of Americans, but I don't care if he ever plays again. Colin is trying to get a job from a league that prefers "the help" be subservient rather than independent. His crime was far more egregious than not standing for a flag and a song: Colin is being punished for disrupting the herd. The moment he didn't kowtow to the wishes of the league and end his protest he became a nuisance, but when he inspired others to protest he became an enemy. 
     

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    KEEP CALM & CARRY ON, ISIS EDITION (PT 3)

    "Gaslighting" is a meme based on an old movie where you're led to question your own sanity & ability to judge anything.

    In my short previous installment, I noted the fighting in Syria & Iraq taking place in the new mags & tabloids and internet as well. Rather than subsiding with the near elimination of ISIS from Mosul, the conflict exploded onto front pages in the last day not due to what happened, but more due to what may have transpired. As has become rule over the last year or more, your take on the matter will depend on where you fit in the political spectrum and what walled-off garden of social & traditional media you're imbibing.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Someday we'll find it, the Putin connection...

    The AP drew another line in Trump's connect-the-dots puzzle today. We already knew that former campaign chair Paul Manafort had worked for pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians. Now we know that he secretly worked on behalf of the Putin regime as well.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    The War on New York: State Medicaid Director on Trumpcare

    No commentary from me here, just a signal boost for a caring public official.

    **

    Michael,

    As New York's Medicaid Director, I couldn’t be more appalled by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s health care plan.

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    Keep Calm & Carry On, ISIS Edition (pt 2)

    Not quite the #2 I'd planned, but in checking on progress for Mosul, I noted RT (Russia Today) continually using the term "indiscriminate strikes" when describing US/allied shelling and street action. Among their continued "3rd party independent" verifiers of this was a group called "Airwars".

    Knife in the Back - Monsters on Main Street

    Even as Hillary is sighted, somewhat like that bear, slipping out of the woods back into the mainstream, I see again and again the disgruntled comments arising in each story, the "we wuz robbed", the "DNC rigged the primaries", the "crooked woman", and the "party left us" kind of betrayed mentality you seldom see so strong except for WWI German vets distraught over Versailles. Not just a few comments - *DOMINATING* the comments section.

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    librewolf's picture

    Lie Alert: Obamacare Imploding; Trumpcare the Best for Patients

    Obamacare is "imploding", "collapsing under its own weight" etc. That is, and has been, the Republican drum beat, but is it true? I would argue that the answer is a flat out "No." But, but, but, what about those 130% premium increases, providers bailing on the Exchanges, etc. Yes, there are those issues ... in states who failed to implement the ACA (Affordable Care Act) the way it was crafted to function.

    Keep Calm & Carry On, ISIS Edition (pt 1)

    On April 8, 2014, al-Baghdadi announced Al-Nusra & Islamic State Iraq were joining forces, and soon unleashed an impressive series of attacks that gained large swaths of Iraqi & Syrian territory (see below). Tied to the seemingly unstoppable progress was the horror of ISIS' fanaticism and cruel behavior towards any non-adherent to their fringe beliefs. Besides fodder for those who believe all Islam is like this, it renewed criticism of how the Iraq War was managed, helped fuel the mass emigration from Iraq & Syria that swamped Europe for a time (and almost dented the US), and provided a key thread of fear and loathing for the 2016 campaign trail.

    The threat & ease of spread by ISIS wasn't just do to its methods and persuasion. It relied on the in-fighting of those that might in saner times approach it - in short, they relied on a philosophical vacuum much as they relied on the huge areas of unoccupied desert to make their gains look more impressive.

    3 years later (in 3 weeks) we see what happens when Kurds, Shi'ites, Sunnis and any other factions join together to confront a regional pariah. It hasn't been easy - the Caliphate gained land much faster than the slow, plodding effort to retake control. Even back in October there was some feeling that defeat of ISIS could be just a few weeks away - but instead the much more extended re-capture of Mosul has enlightened us to the new realities of lightning war, or its non-existence in a terrain where we worry about civilian life rather than raw advance.

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