Mainstreaming the extreme

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 16:47

A: At least one more day.

We now have some poll numbers, and hence a more analytical take on the matter at 538.


I’m with Colin Powell

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 20:41

How long am I going to keep beating this drum?


Sedition warrants removal from office and imprisonment

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 20:19

Anything less is not justice. Every delay further harms this nation.

Seditious conspiracy — 18 U.S. Code § 2384

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

The power to pardon insurrectionists and to command the armed forces needs to be removed from the leader of the seditious conspiracy now.


Did not see this coming

Filed under: news, politics — jlm @ 12:39

So, what now?

Let’s take a look at the Constitution of the United States of America, Twenty-Fifth Amendment, Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President. …



Why we need sick-time regulations

Filed under: covid, news, politics — jlm @ 11:00

There’s a terrifying report from the NY Times and affiliates today: With the traditional retail shut-down triggering a big jump in online retail, there’s been a big jump in the workload at the businesses that get the deliveries to the consumers — and the pressure to meet at that workload is causing many employees to come into work despite being sick, even when they’re almost certainly suffering from COVID!

Absent the pandemic, our laissez-faire approach to sick-leave policies has resulted in a race-to-the-bottom and certainly contributed to the spread of traditional casually communicable diseases like the common cold and flu. With the pandemic, here we see that it’s actively undermining our efforts to fight the disease’s spread! Whether it’s the proper remit of government to prevent this race-to-the-bottom is a matter of political philosophy, and this right here is a demonstration of why it’s bad to not have those regulations. Without regulations, businesses won’t enact policies that reduce the spread of diseases, because that’s a social good but not a competitive improvement. Proper government recognizes that its duty to the society it governs includes ensuring that businesses don’t face competitive pressures to act in ways that hurt the greater society. Sick-time regulation is one such case: a uniform and regulated policy would protect society as a whole by reducing the spread of casually communicable diseases, while letting businesses still compete in the matters that are properly their remit like customer service, productivity, and product quality.

Our failure to have socially beneficial sick-time polities has already contributed to the epidemic and continues to do so. But now that we’re here, we need to do more than look back and regret our foolishness and lack of foresight. A responsible government would step in with emergency regulations and keep these employees home, provide unemployment funds while they’re recovering at home instead of getting paid hours at work, shield them from any retaliation for doing the Right Thing by staying at home, and release the pressure to have so many employees on the job by suspending (or at least relaxing) delivery guarantees. If stopping the spread of the virus is important enough to shutdown retail over, it’s important enough to slow shipments over! Is the US government going to take these obvious actions? Time will tell, but my level of trust is low and I believe it will not, and thereby destroy a decent fraction of whatever good the shelter-in-place policies would provide.


Thank you Captain Obvious

Filed under: covid, econ, news, politics — jlm @ 17:14

From Jobless claims jump by 70,000 as virus starts to take hold (San Francisco Gate, by Martin Crutsinger via AP):

“The more aggressive coronavirus containment measures imposed in recent days involving the near total shutdown of the retail, leisure and travel sectors in some parts of the country are clearly starting to have a dramatic impact,” said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

Ya think?


Europe (probably) ditching DST

Filed under: politics, time — jlm @ 11:24

Lookee, lookee, seems like the Europeans have figured out how crazy DST is and are likely to drop it soon (by the standards of these things, so maybe in a couple years). Keep pushing for DST abolishment, everyone — progress is being made.


DST is for losers, not Floridians

Filed under: politics, time — jlm @ 14:54

Today most of the United States switches from Standard Time to Daylight Savings Time. But it looks like in the fall Florida won’t be switching back to Standard Time like the rest of us. And good on them! As I’ve said before, staying with this tradition of changing our clocks twice a year is ridiculous in this age.


Be careful what you wish for…

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 18:12

… because you might get it.

Look at things right now: James Comey deserved to be fired. Specifically, he deserved to be fired because of his interference in the election. Wish granted! He’s been sacked for (so writes the Sacker in Chief) that reason in particular. But now, seemingly nearly everybody (yours truly included) thinks the act of terminating Comey was wrong. We live in interesting times. May you not come to the attention of important people.


I do not understand my own country

Filed under: politics — jlm @ 07:57

Donald Trump has just won the election. I am more baffled by this election result than I’ve ever been, by far. I might disagree with the people who voted for Reagan or W., but I understood plausible rationales for those decisions. I don’t in this case. I spent my entire childhood in Oregon (HRC 51½%) and my entire adult life in California (HRC 61½%), and I don’t even understand how these two states didn’t end up in Hillary Clinton’s camp by much larger margins. I must be in a bubble inside a bubble, and I don’t know how to communicate with those outside.

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