Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Reason #5782 That Trump Was Elected

CNN Whines that Trump Is Bullying Them Like That Little Kid On Social Media
It started with this Trumpier-than-usual tweet this morning:

“The fact that he has an opinion about Don Lemon has always struck me as conclusive proof he watches too much tv,” notes Ramesh Ponnuru. Seriously, it’s like having an opinion on Erin Burnett. Who watches so much CNN primetime that they have a “take” on a formulaic rando host?

The president does, I guess. He has a “Super Tivo” to record cable news, you know.

But I digress. The commentariat spends much of its time nowadays navel-gazing about how the media can rebuild goodwill among Americans who’ve lost faith in it. One suggestion: For starters, for the love of Mike, stop the endless cycle of self-pity and grandiosity. When reporters aren’t busy telling you how heroic their industry is, they’re busy telling you how mean the president is to them, although he’s only mean to them because he’s threatened by their heroic crusade for truth and free speech, which in turn makes his disrespect so much more tragic and hurtful since you would expect the president of all people to stand up for the First Amendment, but at least our heroic media is standing up for it, and on and on we go!

This is an international news organization implicitly comparing itself to the little kid whose video about bullying went viral because the president called one of their anchors dumb. I realize that any public venom from Trump towards a journalist is destined to make their life miserable for a bit as his more excitable fans resort to all manner of verbal abuse towards that person, but the “soldiers for truth”/”bullied child” duality is hard to maintain. Is CNN cowed by Trump or isn’t it? If yes, drop the hero shtick. If no, then he’s not a very effective bully.
Trump was elected because he, unlike any Republican president since Reagan, will stand up to the press.

And the must-read Glenn Greenwald essay:  The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
. . . No matter your views on those political controversies, no matter how much you hate Trump or regard Russia as a grave villain and threat to our cherished democracy and freedoms, it has to be acknowledged that when the U.S. media is spewing constant false news about all of this, that, too, is a grave threat to our democracy and cherished freedom.

So numerous are the false stories about Russia and Trump over the last year that I literally cannot list them all. Just consider the ones from the last week alone, as enumerated by the New York Times yesterday in its news report on CNN’s embarrassment:
. . .
Let’s just remind ourselves of how many times major media outlets have made humiliating, breathtaking errors on the Trump-Russia story, always in the same direction, toward the same political goals. Here is just a sample of incredibly inflammatory claims that traveled all over the internet before having to be corrected, walked back, or retracted — often long after the initial false claims spread, and where the corrections receive only a tiny fraction of the attention with which the initial false stories are lavished:
  • Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
  • An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
  • WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
  • A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
  • RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
  • Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
  • Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
  • Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN)
That really is just a small sample. . .

#MeTooLate: Model Accuses Dead Star of Sexual Assault

Recently deceased “Partridge Family” star David Cassidy is being accused of sexual misconduct by a former model
A former model is accusing the late singer and “Partridge Family” star David Cassidy of being a “first class creep” and groping her when she was 19, according to a recent report in the UK’s Daily Star tabloid.

Samantha Fox claims Cassidy, who passed away in November of this year from liver failure, followed her into a public bathroom and molested her in 1985, she told The Daily Star.

“When he grabbed me and pushed his tongue down my throat, I just kneed him in the b*****ks ,” the model-turned singer said.
 And that's how you're supposed to do it.

Fox — now 51 — claims she’d initially signed on to appear topless in the music video for Cassidy’s single “Romance” but was sickened when she noticed that the singer was visibly aroused and had an erection.

“Whenever he pressed himself against me, I could clearly feel his d**k,” she writes in her upcoming memoir, “Forever.”

“David seemed to be deliberately drawing out the photoshoot, which took an eternity, and he had an erection the entire time — something he did absolutely nothing to hide,” said Fox.

Despite these incidents, Fox agreed to accompany the pop music icon to dinner later that same evening, but she had her father with her.

“In the middle of dinner, I got up to go to the toilet, and as I was standing alone in the women’s toilets, washing my hands, the door flew open and David Cassidy came storming in,” The Star claims, citing an excerpt from the book.

“Before I really had time to process what was happening, he had pushed me up against the wall and his hands were all over me. I shouted: ‘Get off me, David!’ in an attempt to stop him. But instead, he just stuck his tongue into my mouth and shoved a hand under my skirt, while the other kept a firm grip on one of my breasts,” Fox writes.

“I reacted quickly and instinctively by bringing my knee upwards, striking him right in the balls,” she claims.
 He must have had big hands.

“David jerked back with an ‘Ouch!’ and grabbed his crotch with both hands. I took a deep breath and shouted, ‘Get away from me!'” Fox goes on to say that she elbowed him in the face before escaping.

“In that moment, the handsome, sweet guy from ‘The Partridge Family’ had transformed into a first-class creep,” she adds.

In a recent Tweet, Fox claims that her book was completed over a year ago, prior to Cassidy’s death.

This sure seems like a late hit to me. It makes it really hard to rebut.

A few NSFW photos from the old days.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Chicken Shit Study Has Good News for Farmers

A new study from Penn State University quantifies the environmental strides the industry has made.

“We have more efficient birds now that are utilizing those nutrients a lot better,” said Erica Rogers, the graduate assistant who conducted the research.
. . .
The new figures will replace outdated book values that don’t do the industry justice, said Paul Patterson, a Penn State poultry scientist and Rogers’ adviser.

Rogers’ data could be used in The Penn State Agronomy Guide and the Chesapeake Bay model, which tracks how much progress farmers have made in reducing nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the watershed.

Many of the numbers those sources currently use are at least 20 years old and don’t reflect more recent advances in housing systems or feed efficiency.

In one dataset used to guide the Chesapeake Bay Program, pullets are listed as excreting 50 pounds of manure per bird.

“They don’t even eat that much in their life cycle,” Rogers said.
That's the sort of basic error that should be used to check models. If you're creating pollution where it can't be (or in this case, more than the target could possibly make), it's time to revise it.
With the cooperation of poultry integrators, Rogers visited more than 70 farms, collecting samples from random points and at varying depths throughout manure stacks.

“I climbed a lot of manure piles,” Rogers said.
Ah, the life of a graduate student!

New York Bombing

A man detonated a small bomb near Times Square in Manhattan this morning. A suspect is reported to be in custody.

UPDATE: In what NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio called an “attempted terrorist attack,” the 27-year-old suspect named Akayed Ullah detonated a “low-tech improvised explosive device” in a subway station, NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said. The bomb caused only minor injuries to three people, and there are currently no known threats to the city. 
UPDATE II: Did we mention that the terrorist is a Muslim immigrant?
Port Authority Terrorist Came On a Chain Migration Visa
The important question, however, is: How much Diet Coke should Trump drink?
President Trump calls for end of chain migration as part of immigration reform.

Kill him, feed him to pigs, and send the shit back to Bangladesh.

Adam's (or Rama's) Bridge

Apparently there used to be a walk-able path from India to Sri Lanka: Adam’s Bridge Between India and Sri Lanka Before 1480

The map above shows what Adam’s Bridge (aka Rama’s Bridge or Ram Setu) in the Palk Strait might have looked like prior to 1480 when it connected India and Sri Lanka.

In 1480 a cyclone supposedly deepened the channels between India and Sri Lanka, rendering it impassible by foot. However, today some sections are still only between 1 and 10 meters (3 and 30 feet deep) as can be seen in this photo from NASA’s Landsat 7 satellite:
Here, you can explore it on Google maps:

Reminds me a lot of the shifting islands on the Eastern Shore. There used to be complete roads out there, too.

#HerToo: Singer Accused of Rape

Melanie Martinez
Melanie Martinez Has Been Accused Of Rape By A Former Friend
In a tweet on Tuesday morning, musician Timothy Heller accused fellow woman artist Melanie Martinez of rape.

In her defense, Melanie claims that Heller "never said no to what we chose to do together," which used to be a reasonable claim in real life, if not on college campuses during the Obama years.

Honestly, I've never heard of either of these two people.