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Republicans

Journal Journal: Conservative Cowardice On Parade 5

The GOP members of congress made dozens of attempts to repeal the ACA while President Lawnchair was still in office. They never worried about a replacement at the time because they knew their attempts were good publicity as they were guaranteed to fail.

Now they have all the power. Where is the repeal now? Nowhere in sight. Suddenly they have all these extra steps they have to take, when before it was so easy.

This. Is. Bullshit.

What's really going on? Why the foot dragging? Two reasons, the first you hear often.

First, they have no replacement ready. They know the consequences of repealing without replacing . They knew these consequences before, but didn't have any reason to worry about them before. Now they actually need a replacement, so they are intentionally slowing down their own process as they don't have one.

Ultimately, they are going to "replace" the ACA by changing the name from "Obamacare" to "Trumpcare" (or "Pencecare" if Trump is removed from office before it happens).

Second is the reason they don't want anyone to pay attention to. Both the GOP and the democrats are owned by the insurance industry. As much as the insurance industry claims that the ACA has been bad for business, the GOP knows that nothing that deviates strongly from this will keep their owners happy. The insurance industry has such deep pockets in DC that they could very nearly replace every representative in 2018 if they wanted - or at least establish a new majority.

Unfortunately nobody will be willing to call out the GOP on their bullshit with this. The elected democrats are too spineless and afraid of being called "Un-American" by their colleagues.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Intel Wifi Crashing 3

Note to future self.

I was fiddling around with my laptop and broke something. My WiFi kept disconnecting every couple of minutes. A quick look in dmesg showed the iwlwifi kernel module was segfaulting every couple of minutes.

This was new. WTF had I changed? Reminder to self -- don't fiddle with things that matter when really tired.

As it turns out, I had enabled up the amd64-microcode in my system, which is under Additional Drivers in Ubuntu. This played absolute havoc with the Intel WiFi and provided no discernible benefits.

Uncheck box, reboot machine, problem resolved.

User Journal

Journal Journal: "Don't be rude. YOU ARE FAKE NEWS" 21

I honestly don't think I'll get tired of watching President Trump smack the MSM over the next 8 years.

And "fake news" has been a huge problem ever since the days of Dan Rather's "fake, but accurate" George W. Bush AWOL fake memo.

... and considering now you've got Buzzfeed and CNN getting trolled by 4chan about a fake story involving Trump hiring prostitutes to urinate on a bed in Russia -- something so obviously fake it's laughable, and yet -- I know lefties who believe it happened -- which is kind of the point. Tell the lie often enough and it'll stick a little. The MSM is no londer interested in facts, only to do whatever they can to further the leftist narrative. Right, Ezra and the JournoListers? Leni Reifenstahl approves of your tactics.

But Trump verbally smacking Acosta and CNN?

I enjoyed that. It's about time someone rubbed their noses in it. Go Donald!
User Journal

Journal Journal: First Carrier, now Ford... 1

LINK

Trump isn't even if office yet and he's already a better President than Obama.

Which, I know, is not saying much because a Goldfish would be a better President than Obama....
User Journal

Journal Journal: Sixteen: The Final Chapter 2

It's that time of year again. The time of year when everyone and their dog waxes nostalgic about all the shit nobody cares about from the year past, and stupidly predicts the next year in the grim knowledge that when the next New Year comes along nobody will remember
that the dumbass predicted a bunch of foolish shit that turned out to be complete and utter balderdash. I might as well, too. Just like I did last year (yes, a lot of this was pasted from last year's final chapter).

Some of these links go to /., S/N, mcgrewbooks.com, or mcgrew.info. Stories and articles meant to ultimately be published in a printed book have smart quotes, and slashdot isn't smart enough for smart quotes. Reviews for The Golden Book of Springfirld and Black Bead were front page articles at Soylent News only, and not a journal.

As usual, first, the yearly index:
Journals:
Random Scribblings
the Paxil Diaries
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015

Articles:
Useful Dead Technologies Redux
The Old Sayings Are Wrong
How to digitize all of your film slides for less than ten dollars
GIMPy Text
The 2016 Hugo convention

Song
Santa Killed My Dog!
My Generation 21st Century

Book reviews
Stephen King, On Writing
Vachel Lindsay, The Golden Book of Springfield
J. D. Lakey, Black Bead

Scince Fiction:
Wierd Planet
The Muse
Cornodium
Dewey's War
The Naked Truth
The Exhibit
Agoraphobia
Trouble on Ceres

Last years' stupid predictions (and more):

Last year I said I wasn't going to predict publication of Voyage to Earth and Other Stories, and I was right, it's nearly done. So this year I do predict that Voyage to Earth and Other Stories will be published. I'm waiting for Sentience to come back from Motherboard, who's been hanging on to it since last February. I may have to e-mail them and cancel the submission if it isn't back by this February
I'll also hang on to last year's predictions;
Someone will die. Not necessarily anybody I know...
SETI will find no sign of intelligent life. Not even on Earth.
The Pirate Party won't make inroads in the US. I hope I'm wrong about that one.
US politicians will continue to be wholly owned by the corporations.
I'll still be a nerd.
You'll still be a nerd.
Technophobic fashionista jocks will troll slashdot (but not S/N).
Slashdot will be rife with dupes.
Many Slashdot FPs will be poorly edited.
Slashdot still won't have fixed its patented text mangler.
Microsoft will continue sucking
And a new one: DONALD TRUMP WILL (gasp) BE PRESIDENT IF THE us!!! God help us all! (He can't possibly be worse than George H. Bush or James Buchanan, can he?)

Happy New Year! Ready for another trip around the sun?

The Almighty Buck

Journal Journal: Sears Announces More Store Closings 6

Sears / KMart - which have been owned under the same corporate umbrella for years now - struggled yet again to make money through this holiday season. After obtaining another line of credit to stay afloat, they have announced the imminent closing of at least 32 stores between the two chains .

That means the retailer will have fewer than 1,500 stores left by early 2017. That's down nearly 60% from 2011, when Sears had more than 3,500 stores.

...

In the most recent quarter, Sears' revenue fell 13%, to $5 billion, and its losses widened to $748 million from $454 million in the period last year.

Same-store sales dropped 7.4%, including a 10% decrease at Sears stores and a 4.4% decrease at Kmart stores.

Censorship

Journal Journal: Mr George Michael: A Statement 1

I completely condemn the death of George Michael yesterday morning, which was senseless, a needless tragedy, and caused great pain to hundreds of millions of fans and those who enjoy music.

This utterly despicable death comes on the heels of the pointless loss of David Bowie, and combined with Brexit and the election of Trump, is more evidence of cruel and malignant mentality amongst those responsible for the guidance of the universe at this present time.

I call upon those responsible to stop it, and to end their monstrous campaign against humanity.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Some post election clarifications 16

1. No, Liberals were not "in a bubble". Our reaction isn't because we were surprised by the Trump victory, we knew there was a chance of one, pretty much every liberal I knew in a swing state voted for Clinton because we knew how close it was. Our reaction post election is horror, not surprise. Insofar as we expected a Clinton win, it was because the opinion polls seemed to suggest that. Those of us who trusted Nate Silver knew there was a one third chance of Trump winning.

2. No, Trump did not win because his supporters were called idiots, or racists, or fascists, or both. Nobody has ever said "That man called me a fascist! Well, that does it, I'm going to vote for a fascist who'll most likely destroy the country I live in and love! That'll show them!" Besides, we didn't, for the most part, call Trump supporters any of those things, we called TRUMP a fascist, and we also observed that actual self-described NEO-NAZIs ("Deplorables") were voting for Trump - as in David Duke was voting for him, and any analysis of what neo-nazis were doing showed they were enthusiastic about Trump.

(On that note: are you a fascist for voting Trump? You might be, you might not, but what is clear is that you don't consider fascism to be such a terrible thing that you'd refuse to vote for someone who runs as a fascist. That is not a good thing, and whether you're one or not, you should feel bad if you voted for him.)

2.1 No she didn't. She said half of Trump's supporters were "deplorables", an entirely reasonable statement to make. She never said that half of voters, or that all Trump supporters, were racists, you just made that up.

3. You may think he made it all up just to get elected. But you have no real evidence of that. We will be fearful that Trump intends to continue as a fascist until he proves otherwise. Thus far, he's been all over the map, we have to wait until he's in office before we can judge.

4. No, we will not "Hope for Trump's success". We'll hope for America's success, but to our eyes, that appears to be in conflict with the success of Trump. We'll hope that Trump somehow redeems himself, and turns into something completely unlike what we've seen so far.

Addressing a different crowd...

5. No, she didn't win the popular vote. She did great, and has a plurality, but she's not even near the 50% mark. The EC would have absolutely no mandate - moral or otherwise - to substitute Clinton for Trump. Both candidates lost the popular vote.

6. She was a shitty choice of candidate, get over it. No, she's not Nixon, she's the victim of a 25 year long smear campaign, but she's also a neo-con who doesn't represent liberal values on certain key issues like war and civil liberties, and she's spent so much time cosying up to the various establishments that she appears aloof of ordinary American's problems. She's rightly or wrongly associated with her husband who may or may not have been popular but is infamous for regressive anti-progressive positions during his time in office. In the primaries we may have had two shitty candidates to choose from, we may or may not have picked the best of the two, but she was still shitty.

6.1 Sanders? You really think a country brainwashed for more than a century to think Socialist is a bad word would have voted for Sanders? Really? Even Trump had the good sense to not explicitly use the word that described the ideology he was campaigning on. He wasn't even a great campaigner - he might have beaten Ron Paul if the latter had been the Republicans choice, but nobody else.

7. No, we're probably not going to win back either house in 2018. We're not Republicans, we're obsessed with looking reasonable and getting the blessing of the media, and the media is going to normalize Trump and the Democrats will end up compromising themselves and fucking themselves over. When Obama won, the Republicans went Scorched Earth despite there being no reason to think he was particularly offensive. Democrats need to go Scorched Earth now, but won't, because they're pathetic.

8. No, we shouldn't abandon our principles to win the next election. Supporting minorities didn't kill us, failing to address issues that affect everyone might have done, but the two are not in conflict. We need to abandon people suffering real hardship and discrimination so we can focus on the "White Working Class"? Bullshit. We need policies that lift up the whole of the working classes, not just whites. And while we do so, nothing prevents us from reforming chronically discriminatory institutions, or dealing with hate crimes at the same time.

We have precious little we can do at this stage, but we can resist in our own small ways, and make it politically possible for others with more power to resist too. That's what we must, at minimum, do right now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Santa Killed My Dog!

They say that Santa's coming,
He comes 'round every year.
He comes he'll meet a shotgun slug
'cause he ain't welcome here.

Five years ago this Christmas
The fatass came around
With jingle bells and ho ho hos
And looking like a clown.

He came in for a landing
As I let out a yawn
My house is pretty little
So he landed on the lawn.

I didn't have the time to yell
As he came in through the fog;
He came in fast and and came down hard
And landed on my dog.

He looked around all furtive like
As I reached for my gun,
Then jumped in sleigh, yelled âoegiddie upâ
And took off on the run.

And so, that fatassed bastard
Better stay away from here
'cause ever since he killed my dog
I have no Christmas cheer.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Trouble on Ceres 11

I'm not even bothering to paste it, since slashdot would render it unreadably, so I'll just sent you to mcgrew.info.

I really wish they'd fix that horrible bug...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Is Anyone Tracking Trump's Broken Promises? 34

Trump made a great deal of campaign promises, and he is already back-tracking on quite a few of them.

Raise criminal charges against Hillary Clinton? nah, maybe not

Repeal all of Obamacare, immediately? nope, not doing that either

Start deporting people on day one? nah, that can wait (note what the same article also says about the wall)

Can anyone name anything substantive he was planning that he hasn't already walked back? Should be an interesting "first 100 days", being as he's already been dropping things off his to-do list.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Ancestry.com Passwords 2

When attempting to change your password on the genealogy website Ancestry.com, you get this not-so-helpful message:

New Password -- Your new password should be between 5 to 24 characters long and can be any combination of letters, numbers, and some symbols.

Really. Some symbols. Not that they're going to tell you which ones. Oh no, that would be too easy. You have to guess!

The best I can figure out is some dev is just fucking with people for fun. Either that, or they had to spend way too much time writing escape code for special characters and this is payback.

For the record, so far I've determined that a period, hyphen, and underscore are all acceptable and a space is not. . - _

Ugh!

User Journal

Journal Journal: 97% in 2016 30

What was 97% in 2016? According to opensecrets.org, 97% of US House members who ran for re-election in 2016 won their re-election bid. While that seems high - and it is higher than 2014, 2012, or 2010 - it is not the highest we've seen since the 60's, and we've never seen less than 80% in that time frame.

This is of course while congress has approval ratings from US polls that is barely better than Ebola or ISIS.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Fuck Obamacare 13

Trump has been all over the map about the Affordable Care Act since he "won" the election, stating he'd like to keep the "popular" bits after meeting with Obama, then stating he'd organize a special session of Congress the day after he's inaugurated to repeal the whole thing. (He's apparently unaware Congress will already be in session, but, whatever.) If he chooses to keep the "popular" bits, the health insurance industry will crumble, for what it's worth, because they'll be forced to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions to people who refuse to pay a penny in premiums until they fall ill.

My view is nuanced on Obamacare, so I expect 99% of the replies to this post to miss the point completely, probably just focusing on the headline, but...

...this was entirely predictable. Obamacare was a really bad idea. I said so at the time. I stand by my comments. It was never feasible in the long term and it was politically the most inept attempt to introduce universal health care ever devised.

That it's going... is not to be celebrated, because it means suddenly a huge number of people will be unable to afford health care. That's bad. But simply blaming Republicans and Fascists for its removal is missing the greater picture: it was insanely unpopular. It was something Republicans were able to rally around to defeat Democrats. Think about that for a second: UH should be popular. It should have been a real concern by most of the country that they were going to lose it. When in 2012 Democrats wanted the Senior vote, they pointed out Paul Ryan planned to replace Medicare - UH for seniors - and were rewarded by a shift towards them. Nobody was able to stand up in 2016 and say "Hey guys, Trump will kill Obamacare, you don't want to lose that!" In fact, the opposite happened, Trump used Obamacare against Clinton.

Why did it fail? Because it sucked. It didn't control prices significantly enough that people noticed - in fact, most believed Obamacare was to blame for rising insurance costs. Most had insurance before, they had insurance afterwards, and the insurance afterwards was still going up in price way above inflation. It was the same system as they had before, but it was more expensive.

And those who didn't have insurance before, well, they resented it. Suddenly they were forced to pay for something they hadn't been required to have before, and most people don't have cancer or require an MRI, so they never saw any value in what they were forced to buy, despite the subsidies and so on.

The Democrats, if they ever get back into power, have to decide where they want to go with Universal Healthcare. But next time - if there is a next time - there's really only one option, and that's an income tax funded single payer system. If that's not politically possible thanks to Blue Dogs or whatever, then don't address the issue - it's a waste of time, and it'll result in Democrats being unable to address any other aspects of their agenda. But Single Payer is virtually the only healthcare system you can create that people would be frightened of losing. Which makes it politically the only choice worth pursuing. And in practical terms, it's also the only way to deliver truly universal healthcare.

RIP Obamacare. I'm sorry for the people who'll lose coverage, but I'm not going to blame the Republicans for getting rid of it.

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