Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Art of No Deal

    As everyone has already noticed, a president who boasts about his deal-making skills, author of The Art of the Deal, has been unable to strike a deal to keep his own government funded. Worse, he actually blew up a deal in the making, and now negotiations from the White House side seem to have all but stopped. This is because the word "deal" doesn't mean what Donald Trump thinks it means. He doesn't want a deal. He wants a "win," which he defines as the other side losing. And that makes deal-making impossible.

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    Ramona's picture

    Our Bleeding Hearts Might Have Saved Us

    Today marks the anniversary of the Dread Fiend Trump's official entry into politics, not as dog catcher, not even as city clerk, but as President of these United States.
     

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    Danny Cardwell's picture

    One Exhausting Sh*thole

    “Why are we having all these people from sh*thole countries come here?”

    Sh*thole has been uttered on cable news over a dozen times. My only regret is that George Carlin didn’t live long enough to see the barrage of politicians, news anchors and pundits repeat one of the FCC’s seven banned words.

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    William K. Wolfrum's picture

    American Football in Nigeria - After God is Football

    AFFAM players meeting with HRH. Alh. (Dr.) Shehu Idris, the 18th Emir of Zaria in the Royal Palace of the Emir of Zaria. Idris is a supporter of American football in Nigeria.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Your Public Domain Report for 2018

    Hey gang! It's time for Public Domain Day again, where we list all of the music, film, books, and other pieces of art leaving copyright today. And here's that list again, just like last year:

    Nothing. Nothing at all.

    Happy New Year.

    Although the Framers of the Constitution only gave Congress power to grant copyrights and patents "for a limited time," repeated extensions have made sure that nothing has entered the public domain in the United States since January 1, 1979. Today makes nearly forty years since that happened.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Never Trust an Action Hero: Star Wars' Lost Politics

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi has hit the cineplex and begun raking in the customary astronomical profits. But the film has some angry detractors among hard-core Star Wars fans (a minority, I think, but a loud one) who complain bitterly that The Last Jedi is unfaithful to the Star Wars tradition. I'm not going to talk about the new movie here, and I'm going to do my best to delete discussion of it in comments (no spoilers!) for at least the next week. But I'd like to talk about the old Star Wars movies, the originals and the prequels, and the ambiguity that George Lucas tried, but failed, to give them.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Guy Buys A Phone And Takes Pictures

    Are you tired of the existential angst that comes with trying to survive in a world dominated by empire building, global capitalism, xenophobia, racism, patriarchy and homophobia?

    Do you want to go 3 minutes without thinking about Pedophilia, sexual assault, or the Orange Emperor?

    If so, click the link below to look at some pictures I took around Bath County. For 3 minutes our world will seem like a place worth saving...

     

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    When You're Adorable to Deplorables

    Our friend Josh has been making the point that public revelations of predatory behavior only matter to people and entities who have to serve constituencies that care about such things. This seems an obvious point. The bachelor party at Scores is not going to get worked up about people objectifying the dancers, at least not on that particular night.  It does mean, however, that the political/social consequences of engaging in such behavior will differ more based on who you are or what you serve than what you did.

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    Battle of the Sexes: On Bonsai Trees & Suburban Myths

    A quote recently about men's role in the changing state of affairs (pardon the pun) struck me as rather bitchy and dismissive: "Oh, how fragile is the ego of a man. We must never let him feel like a bonsai in a grove of California redwoods..." The same article goes on to note men's time spent with children nearing women's (ignoring any Roy Moore jokes there). So why the insult and calumny? It's not like men aren't evolving to meet the changing societal situation, whatever the headlines. It's also not like men aren't on the brutal receiving end of many of these changes.

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The New York Times Wants You to Know How Normal Everyone Is Here at the Applebee's

    Here in bucolic Fairfield, California, amidst rolling vineyards and struggling big-box stores, unassuming souls like Norman Bates go largely unremarked. While most Americans would instinctively recoil from his habit of brutal murder and the uses to which he puts his victims’ bodies, here in Middle America he is Norman Next Door, a soft-spoken young man whose manners nearly any mother would applaud, working to keep open a family motel that serves both as symptom and as symbol of the economic anxieties roiling the heartland. Norman has heard murmurs advocating radical change, from Wal-Mart’s gun aisle to the local church’s pork-and-beans supper, and seems guardedly optimistic. Perhaps it will become easier for him to date. “Most girls don’t want to hear about being violently stabbed to death and having selected portions of their remains repurposed,” he says, browsing the knives at the dollar store. Now, he feels, things may be about to go his way.

    Battle of the Sexes: War's not the absence of Peace

    Once upon a time in a land far away, we had big people and smaller people, and the bigger people largely took care of the smaller people and the smaller people largely did what the bigger people wanted, and this comic-book characterization carried on for a few millennia. Beneath the cartoonist's rendition, there was a lot of smudgy tawdry goings-on, but in a regular newspaper, you can only get so much detail.

    Eventually people discovered tools, which went from simple stuff like big sticks used as clubs on to more subtle stuff like x-ray spectrometry and online marketing, which confused the hell out of early caveman/woman, but is slowly becoming comprehensible to their descendants.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Let's Talk About Sexual Assault

    It was as normal a morning as you get in the Department of Corrections. The caffeinated buzz inside the chow hall was interrupted by the sound of trays hitting the floor and shouts too, “kill that baby raping b*tch”. Less than fifteen feet from me, an older white man was getting stomped out as he curled in a fetal position wedged between two stools at the rectangular table he was eating at. It took close to a minute before correctional officers intervened on his behalf.

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    Ramona's picture

    Al Franken Shouldn't Resign

     Yes, I'll say it, and I hope it's not too late: Al Franken should not resign. He shouldn't be forced to resign, either by the Democrats who (rightly) can't abide double standards or the Republicans who would love to see a Democratic knock-down. I can agree that what he did to Leann Tweeden was stupid, gross, and as close to sexual predation as it gets, and still want him to stay where he is.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Then They Came for Bill Clinton (Again)

    Really, liberals?  Really?  More than seventeen years after we movedon.orged this issue, we're going to turn on Bill Clinton? As with most progressive mistakes, this seems to come from a well-meaning place.  We lefties like to be intellectually and ethically consistent and we are trying to make the world a better, more inclusive place, after all.

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    Victory for 3rd Way Democrats?

    Well, it's Monday morning, figuratively speaking, and victory has many fathers & mothers while losing's an orphan, as JFK noted. So putting a stake in the ground...

    Has the centrist Democrat revived over the last year? Let's see how this went - Wilmont Collins won as a black Liberian immigrant in Helena - and a member of Child Protection Services and the Naval Reserves - focused on support for the homeless and increased funding for police and fire departments. Can we split that baby any nicer?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    On Donna Brazile...

    ...yeah, no, I just can't.

    Except to say that I really don't believe that Bernie Sanders ever expected a warm embrace from the party establishment that he was explicitly running against.

    Also, the warm embrace of the party establishment does not seem to translate automatically into winning the general election, so there's that.

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    Week in Rear View: All the Kingsmen

    Lost almost an hour's worth of link collecting last night trying to summarize the shape we're in, so here's a quick stab as the news keeps piling up.

    Big news last week was Manafort & Gates being indicted last week & finding out Papodopolous had pled and talked some months ago - Rick Gates being key as he stayed on with Trump's campaign to the end, while Manafort slid out earlier to avoid controversy (but never cut connections), while more of Manafort's ties to Russian mafia/power brokers became public. Judge found this week Manafort's release from home confinement denied as risky. But that quickly led to a slew of other revelations.

    Remember, Trump himself notes he hires all the smart people, the rich people. What you're smelling is the stench of burning braincells and crime cells - ain't it grand?

    On Counts and Balances

    As confirmed this week yet again, a piece of salacious gossip spun silly can travel the world before we put our adult hats - analytic minds for Kahneman fans - back on and rein it in. On the "plus" side, as one commenter noted, we now know the DNC was pants, an accident that already 'appened. On the minus side, we now know:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Social Media Sucks and Taibbi and Ames Are Not Rapists

    In 2000, Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames wrote a book called The Exile, about their time in the 1990s running an English-speaking alternative newspaper in Moscow, after the fall of the Soviet Union and during what we now look back on as the rise of oligarchs and Vladimir Putin.  The Exile crashed together the ethos of gonzo journalism from the Hunter Thompson years (still ongoing) with the style of the self-published Zine movement (not yet displaced by blogs) with what we might still recognize as "regular journalism" (which no longer exists, I kid.)

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