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      I remember back in the day where Tom Perez was one of the leftmost people in the Obama Cabinet and the one that smart lefties were hoping would be Hillary’s veep choice. I honestly didn’t have any problem with him as DNC Chair over Ellison–didn’t really understand why he got in the race, but also didn’t understand why people obsessed so much over a mainly functionary role, and Perez seemed like a good guy. I was wrong, the guy sucks, and it’s hard to disagree with the argument that his only mission has been to keep the gravy train going forward for grifters like Acronym. Appalling.

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      Lev filed this under:  

      I just love that old Iowa Dems went big for Mayor Peter, who was directly tied into the company that made the app that wrecked the whole thing. It’s such an astounding metaphor. The idea that Buttigieg is the one to fix what’s wrong in American society is a joke because he’s blind to it in exactly the same way that Barack Obama was blind to it, because the problem really is that the “meritocracy” is broken and it has created a rot atop virtually every institution in this nation, and people who have passed through the system are too close to it to see what it’s really doing. While it’s certainly possible to go through a system and see the flaws in it, there are still going to be blind spots no matter how detached you might be able to be, and frankly Peter has never said anything to make me think that he actually does see it for what it is. Obama saw it a bit more clearly—given his skin color, he didn’t really have a choice—but he still fundamentally trusted it and thought it was basically sound. It wasn’t, and isn’t.

      It’s ultimately not the president’s job to fix society-wide dysfunction—though certainly symbolism and leadership by example can have a broader effect on the overall culture—but at the very least we can pick someone who does not live by lies and who sees things reasonably clearly.

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      Lev filed this under:  

      It’s really amazing just how frequently we find out that some facet of the New Economy is a shady effort to give the rich more of your money, consequences be damned. It’s almost as though letting a bunch of white guy libertarians run wild with the economy is BAD?! Convenience is all well and good, but this nation really never thinks much of what the trade-off for that convenience is or what it costs. And I don’t meant to preach here. It’s not like I’ve never used Amazon or Uber or AirBnb or DoorDash myself, I have used all of them, but I do always try to not use them if I can. (Housing an extended family for a joint trip can be hard to do, just saying.) It’s just that these companies really do hurt real people in a direct way, and getting stuff from brick and mortar places is just better all around if you can get the stuff there. Sometimes you can’t! But if you can, you should. Definitely don’t get so that you can’t live without the convenience. Sermon over.

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      Lev filed this under:  

      Who will win? Will it be the extremely old man who wants to lead the Democratic Party of 1995? Will it be the relatively young man who wants to lead the Democratic Party of 2005? How about the woman who wants to lead the party of today? Or maybe the other extremely old man who wants to launch a hostile takeover of the party that freaks out the current management but that the rank-and-file generally seem fine with? Does anybody actually care about Amy Klobuchar, or is she still in it because she’s one of those people who make a big thing of never quitting, no matter how pointless continuing might be? Have we cast our John Kasich of this particular production? All will be answered tonight! (Well, probably not all, but there will be some clarity at least.) The best outcome for me (admittedly not the most likely outcome) would be a Warren win, a crippled Biden and a Mayor Peter disaster that ends this chump’s fifteen minutes (just kidding, the contacts this guy has means we’ll never be rid of him). So I guess Warren-Sanders-Biden-Buttigieg would be my ideal ordering.

      Also, this John Kerry story is hilarious. I guess it’s been mooted now but holy shit, how delusional are these people? What base does John Kerry represent? Why does he think he’d do any better than Biden has? What argument can he deploy against Sanders that Diamond Joe hasn’t? Don’t stop believin’, I guess.

      Also, why the fuck is this thing on a Monday instead of on a Saturday? And why in holy hell do we still have caucuses?

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      Lev filed this under: ,  

      Usually they’re too ashamed to use this excuse, but in Brexit Britain I guess why not?

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      Lev filed this under:  

      I really have to wonder if they’ve thought it through. Maybe they’re angling for future media gigs, but the next time they’re running for something, they’re going to be asked why they endorsed Mayor Stop-And-Frisk, and what are they going to say? I thought he was electable? It takes an accused sexual assaulter to beat an accused sexual assaulter? I stand with the hedge funds? It’s not a choice that is going to make much sense once removed from the context of 2020, and frankly it doesn’t make much sense within that context either because he’s not going to be the nominee. There’s not even a strong trend to it: on the one hand you have people in legitimately non-blue districts like Rep. Max Rose, and on the other, the Mayor of San Francisco? Just seems like cowardice to me in not selecting one of the candidates that actually stands a chance of winning. Useless!

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      Lev filed this under:  

      So I was kind of ambivalent on watching Star Trek: Picard, but RedLetterMedia has kindly produced a video that confirmed all my worst fears for the show:

      The basic issue with all Star Trek made after 2009 is that its resurrection was due not to somebody caring about it and wanting to do it right, but rather to current trends in the entertainment industry of dusting off all existing IP and making new content with it that fit the parameters of what is currently popular. That Star Trek still has a following after 50 years is pretty amazing and a wise corporation might figure that if people keep coming back to this thing after so many years there has to be something real there, so let’s make sure we preserve what’s vital and interesting about it while updating it for the current era. Instead, they basically just slapped the name on generic action-adventure product and threw in ample fan service, hoping that nobody would notice (only they did). It’s short-term corporate thinking at its stupidest, slaughtering the goose that lays the golden eggs just because you want to make a sandwich. I’ll admit to quite liking Star Trek Beyond as well as parts of the first season of?Discovery, which in spite of never really landing on a concept still managed a few glimmers of greatness before an abysmal season finale that scared me off of watching any more of it. But I’m afraid that the Picard series is a non-starter for me. The idea that the Federation should be a mirror of present-day America is frankly just a fundamental misunderstanding of the essence of Star Trek, which is that the Federation is what America would be if it lived up to its stated values. And sure, I have no doubt that the journey of Picard will involve the titular character in some sense bringing back the spirit of the Federation, but between this and?Discovery you really get the sense that the people behind the shows can’t sell the pre-2009 concept of the Federation as anything other than an aspirational, abstract ideal. That isn’t, and never has been, the point. The funny thing is that Picard isn’t the spiritual descendant of Star Trek, it’s the spiritual descendant of Babylon 5, the anti-Star Trek space opera from the ’90s which posited that humans will be dealing with exactly the same problems several hundred years from now. Babylon 5 is at this point almost entirely forgotten and rightfully so: who really wants to be told, ultimately, that this is the best that humanity can do?

      The sad thing is that actual Star Trek is a thing we could really use right about now, but we’re not going to get it, and trading away the long-term fan base for people who just want something with punching and explosions that they’re going to forget an hour after watching it is what’s going to kill off the franchise for good.

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      Lev filed this under:  

      After you’ve been watching this party of ours for long enough, you start to realize what it really is. This country has a lot of problems and pretty much all of them could be fixed, but the Democratic Party doesn’t really want to fix a lot of them. Sometimes this is because of donors/corruption, sometimes this is because of fear, and no doubt there are other motivations you could put in here. But at the end of the day, the party is mainly about giving you ways to cope instead of fixing your problems, which typically doesn’t even work. Can’t find a job in your area? How about you learn to code and get a tech job that’s also probably not in your area! Can’t afford college? We’ll let you borrow from us, you’ll never be free of that debt until you pay it all off, but at least mom and dad can deduct some of that tuition (if they don’t earn too much money). And as for healthcare…we want to improve on the ACA instead of having single payer, but even the slightest improvements on the ACA seem to not be able to get through the House, so I’m not sure what improvements Nancy really wants to implement.

      Obviously novocaine is better than no novocaine, but the notion that absent an evil Republican president that busy people with jobs and lives are going to work their hearts out for this sort of stuff remains highly dubious.

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