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    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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Comey, the sequel.

James Comey was prepared to exonerate Hillary Clinton last July and drafted a letter stating this. He did this after interviewing Clinton’s aides and before interviewing Clinton herself.

But Trump is hopping mad because it looks like Comey’s investigation was ending without a long term prison sentence, which is what everyone who either voted for Trump or didn’t vote at all was expecting.

Now, there are two conclusions you can draw from this. The Republican conclusion is that Comey wasn’t thorough enough and was failing to get with the plan to keep the email story front and center indefinitely.

Observing what happened shortly thereafter, where Comey had an unprecedented press conference condemning her highly irresponsible treatment of a handful of post email classified documents out of over 50000 emails sampled, it sure looks like someone applied partisan pressure on him to make the whole thing look like much more serious than it actually was.

You *could* conclude, as many Republicans did, that there had to be something there and Comey needed to go back and find it.

The other perfectly logical conclusion is that after he interviewed the aides, he determined that no laws were broken, nothing out of the ordinary happened that hadn’t happened before and there was no reason to keep the investigation open. That is a very plausible explanation. AND it has the benefit of being the least complicated explanation based on the facts.

But he trashed her anyway and then wrote that stupid letter just before the election and her lead vanished in a puff of smoke but no fire.

The pressure on him to make her look bad must have been intense. But he wouldn’t protect a law abiding citizen like Clinton the way he protected John Ashcroft back in the Alberto Gonzales days.

You got to wonder why he did it. Did he feel like he owed Republicans? Are there rogue elements in the FBI and why did he think it was Ok to go around his boss or her deputy Sally Yates?

Probably another case of not taking women seriously. The pressure was on and he decided to make a unilateral decision than have to sit in some kind of meeting with two women trying to come to a consensus or worse yet, have one of them tell him what to do.

Yeah another completely plausible scenario.

Taking down Cilizza for crimes against women

Chris Cilizza. You can’t live with him, you can’t feed him poison mushrooms.

As long as we’re taking down men in the entertainment industry and state legislatures, can we please get rid of this major proponent of implicit bias?

He really is more loathsome than Bill O’Reilly. At least with BillO, most of us knew what he was up to. He appealed to men and women who were very comfortable with women being traditional and subordinate. You knew he was a pompous creep but if that’s what turns you on, knock yourself out.

But Cilizza worked for the Washington Post and now for CNN. He’s supposed to be reality based. But his coverage of Hillary Clinton last year was a textbook case of implicit bias.

Let me count the ways. Actually, not necessary. Here’s a parody of Cilizza’s coverage of Clinton on Mashable about how she is covering up the shortage of McDonald’s Szechuan sauce. Hilarious but just substitute “email” for “Szechuan Sauce” and it’s a perfect match for Cilizza’s relentless pursuit of Clinton over what turned out to be nothing while barely mentioning Trump’s glaring flaws.

She’s unlikeable. She has something to hide. She’s responsible for everything that goes wrong. Her apologies are never good enough. She’s inauthentic. She’s calculating and devious. Her qualifications were never highlighted, only her behavior. She’s everything our culture tells us to condemn in ambitious women as if it is taboo to be both “ambitious” and “woman”.

That’s pretty typical of implicit bias. Where men are graded on their accomplishments women are graded on how they behave.

We are in the 21st century now. Biology is no longer destiny. But this nitpicky crap just puts women constantly on the defensive and continually draws attention to the very thing that has limited women’s progress for thousands of years.

Anyway, why stop with sexual harassment? Let’s take a long hard look at the Cilizzas in our media and workplace. You would think that the entities that hired Cilizza would have told him to cut that shit out as soon as they realized how it was potentially affecting his female coworkers. Because it does. If you can get away with undermining an extraordinarily talented woman in the press, imagine what he’s doing during private happy hours.

WaPo and CNN need to train the members of their staff about what implicit bias looks like and they should use a lunkhead like Cilizza as the poster child for it. Let’s start with the editors. Marty Baron, Jeff Zucker and Dean Baquet who need intense remedial training and should start measuring everything to eliminate any “he said/she said” and compensation ambiguities. Statistics: not just for football anymore.


A couple months ago, someone I knew waaaay back when who never used to express any sexist sentiment but has clearly been hanging out with a bad crowd, told me that female software engineers just could not stack up to any male engineer.

This in spite of the history of women who helped pioneer programming going all the way back to Ada Lovelace. But whatever. You gotta see proof, right?

So I give you Margaret Hamilton, lead software engineer on the Apollo Project at NASA standing next to her code in 1969:


Those were the days before fancy workstations and graphics and object oriented pipelines.

You have to wonder how we have gotten to the place where we don’t think women can do this stuff when clearly they were more than capable 50 years ago.

It was Hamilton’s software that landed Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon. Literally.

BTW, guess who coined the term “software engineering”. That’s right, Margaret Hamilton.

Too bad she just wasn’t any good and some dude could have done it better. {{rolling eyes}}.

Go forth and have no fear

All hail the underdogs and apostates