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  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

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  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Hope Is Bullshit
      I am unintersted in “hope.” Or as we called it in the Obama bullshit years, Hopium. Hope is not a plan. Hope is bullshit. Luck is real, but you don’t count on luck other than in the sense that the harder you work, and the more things you do, the more likely you are to […]
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You know what this place needs? A MAKEOVER

Hi Confucians. I took a look in the tip jar yesterday and was surprised to see that somebodies had added to it. Thank you for your generosity, somebodies! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Then I thought, this is enough money to buy an upgrade on WordPress. We could replace the furniture, paint the place, maybe even get IBW that comment editor he’s had on his wish list (I can’t promise anything yet. Gotta check what’s under the hood).

Whaddya say, people? Change is good. It forces us to adapt and thrive. Ok, so the Trump era is not the kind of environmental stress we needed but we have to work with what we’ve got.

The election year is bearing down on us. Before you know it, the group candidate events are going to start. We have trends to watch, memes to track, bullshit to counter. I’m sure all of you have ideas about what would make a good upgrade.

Put your ideas in the comments and we can talk about them. Heck, maybe we can even have an online meeting about them.

Here are some things we might want to add;

  1. Editors and contributors.
  2. Trend trackers
  3. Spiffy new theme (colors? Columns?)
  4. Podcast

Have at it, people. I’d like to see if we can get a prototype up by the middle of July.

33 Responses

  1. Thanks, RD, buuuut–the blog also needs a smarter version of Spammy. I still have a comment in limbo on the Tap Dancing Impeachment Hearings thread.

    Here’s a wish for the wish list: is there a version of Spammy which states up front what is verboten, so we can avoid typing offensive material?

  2. Preview before post would be nice.

  3. My initial visceral reaction was “Podcast”! I still think it would be wonderful to hear the Confluence, including interviews with all the long time, regular posters. And maybe a political mover here and there.

  4. I came out of lurk mode to add $20. Thanks very much!!

  5. I got nothing re the makeover. I can offer Rep Katie Porter vs Bill Maher, all hail Katie:

    • Cats:
      Great videos. Thank you for posting them.

      • Also, great to know Katy Porter a Congress woman, eloquent and funny.
        YES, for “Total Body Autonomy”.

      • Thanks, Belle. Upps found them and posted them on her site, had to share. Katie was the best thing that happened to me in a long,long time. She gives me hope. No yelling, no whimpering, no parsing. Straight facts, no nonsense, rapier wit. She takes no prisoners, brooks no idiocy. Mother of three, I bet she is a great Mom as well as an attorney, former law professor and now Representative for a district in California.

    • Love her

  6. Oops! misspell; Katie…

  7. Did anyone see Michael Wolf on Joy this AM? He is selling another book about trump and claims to have a doc that Mueller/his team drafted in the event they indicted his ass and they had to support their determination not to follow the OLC policy. He said Mueller or DoJ says the doc doesn’t exist (dumb answer) but Wolf says he has a copy he won’t release to protect his source. He also said the draft argument to not follow the policy was persuasive. The video of the interview is on msnbc.com, but I couldn’t figure out how to copy it. Would love some feedback, esp from Kathleen, if any body saw it. Didn’t his first book enrage trump and get a lot of air time?

    • Cats,

      Unfortunately, I did not see Joy’s show. My cable had an outage. I will look for it and watch the Wolf interview, as it pertains to the OLC policy, which, as you know I think is totally irrelevant in dealing with the corruption of trump and his administration.

      • Yes, Kathleen, please go to msnbc.com for the interview, the discussion of the OLC policy is at the beginning of the clip but do listen to the whole interview. I would love to here Mueller’s response as to the existence of the memo which i believe Wolf said was drafted in march 2018, a year before the report was submitted. I think Mueller uncovered a lot of corruption or indications thereof, was appalled and did the best he could to preserve the evidence. I also believe he was shut down prematurely and that he not a healthy man, he is 75! Wolf also quotes Bannon: “Don’t send a Marine to do a hit man’s job.” I am still pondering that one, but i think you would agree!

  8. I saw part of the interview and was struck by Wolf’s candidness and apparent honesty. During the release of the first book, some media downplayed his writing and lack of rigor. He seemed fine to me. His discussion of why trump is the scariest president we have ever had was chilling as was the clearly obvious description of how trump only craves public aggrandizement and that any happiness derived therefrom is transientvat best. I did not hear the part on the OLC opinion- I will try to get to it.

  9. I am fine, Cats- just really busy with work and family. The girly girl is doing very well- she is as sweet as can be at about 135 and growing! She eats more than Norton, so I expect her to top off over 150 or so. She whines when I am on the iPhone, so I am done for now!

    • Busy is good. So happy Ruby is bringing you so much love and joy. 135 to possibly 150? Yikes, that’s a lot of girly girl! Nortie left you in good paws.

  10. Anyone watching the House Judiciary hearings, which are not being shown on any major network, and got shuffled from CSPN to CSPN3, can see how impeachment hearings would go. Republicans to a person would use their time to attack every Democratic witness, make speeches about Obama and Hillary illegally spying on Trump, would do absolutely nothing to advance the gathering of evidence. In the Watergate hearings, there were certainly pro-Nixon Republicans on the committee, but it seemed that there was a general attempt to learn facts. Republicans have long given up that position, and would do everything they can do obstruct, deflect, level charges, demand that everyone not on Trump’s side be investigated. That does not mean that Democrats should be intimidated into not doing more investigations, even impeachment, if they choose, but it does illustrate that such hearings would not be conducted in the way that some have imagined or hoped.

    It is a shame that Dean, Vance, and McQuade are not being shown on mainstream television, because they are excellent, particularly Vance and McQuade. It appears that the media is not too interested in anything that would not get the largest percentage of viewers, even if were about the survival of the country as a democratic nation. They can cover totalitarians just as well as democracies, so they don’t see any need to provide any lessons or facts through which voters might be able to save the country from fascism.

    • So, a helicopter makes a hard landing on top of a NYC building, one person is killed (always sad) and we don’t get to see John Dean’s testimony to the House? Wall to wall coverage of the accident.

      • Yes, just appalling, even with all respect for the very unfortunate situation, and the death of the pilot. The most important purpose of these hearings, is to inform the public. And a very important opportunity was deliberately thrown away by the media. If you have any chance to see some of the witness testimony, it is quite interesting and even heartening. The three Democrat-chosen witnesses are all great. Dean’s studied and knowledgeable responses to some of the awful Republican questions are amusing, while Vance is a superstar, and McQuade is very close to her in ability. With all the Republicans refusing to testify, today would have been very important, but the media didn’t choose to cover it.

        • As i said, the media is the enemy of the people, just not in the way trump wants you to believe. I bet their financial interests and livelihoods align more with trump than the truth. The media after all put him in office for a reason. I was away from a TV all day so I hope Rachel covers the Dean hearing for her entire one hour.

          I am always suspicious of any squirrels that take your eyes away from what trump is doing or when he is under scrutiny for corruption. I hope the helicopter wasn’t sabotaged as a diversion (sounds FSBish to me) but I don’t understand why it got so much air time, when they are now saying it was not a terrorist act. Sensationalists that they are, I am betting the media was hyping it as a mini 9/11 before all the facts were in and the facts now point toward a tragic accident that possibly could have been worse (?).

          Somebody needs to do some Amash-like tweets on the highlights of the Dean testimony with a link to the whole hearing. We have to turn public opinion well before 2020.

          • Cats, Jennifer Taub was doing tweets for at least a while. Mimi Rocah was following them on her feed, and more of them probably are on Taub’s. Yes, this should be covered at length on the news shows, but won’t be. watched a good deal of it, and it was quite interesting. Joyce Vance’s analysis as a witness was brilliant, and had the public seen this in its entirety, it would have made a difference.

  11. First stories on ABC nightly news:
    Helicopter crash
    David Ortiz shooting
    Crane crashing in Dallas

    So yeah, nothing about criminality at the highest levels of our government.

  12. I think that CSPN2 is going to replay the entire hearing of the House Judiciary Committee at 8:30 PM EST, or in about an hour. If it’s not there, check CSPN 1 or 3, but I think they said 2. There are some fine moments, although it does go on for about four and a half hours. I essentially turned off all the Republicans, but Gohmert and Gaetz segments were amusing.

  13. Podcast please! Such brilliant brainy minds here!

  14. Another in the virtually overwhelming series of provable and probable crimes which Trump and his syndicate have committed. Howard Fineman apparently said on a national show that he believes that Trump is manipulating the stock market. Fineman is not my favorite, but he rarely comes up with wild theories. I think that a number of us have suspected this. Trump’s tweets tank certain stocks, or the market as a whole; then he says something else, or reverses course, and the market shoots up. He did that to Boeing stock, and Amazon. It is very hard to imagine that he or his buddies are not shorting stocks before his tweets attacking a company. Also, every time he threatens tariffs, the markets drop; and then he abandons the threats, and the market quickly rises. A whole lot of money can be made by people who day trade millions of shares. Everything about Trump and his crime syndicate screams out that this is what is going on. And of course it is immensely illegal.

    Last week, there were all these threats about imposing tariffs on Mexico. They seemed imminent. Then on Thursday, even with the tariffs looming, the market shot up about 400 points. On Friday, the market went up again. News reported that “White House sources say that they are far from a deal.” That was a couple of hours before the market was to close. The market continued to go up. Then a couple of hours after it closed up about 250 points, the “deal” was announced. This “deal” had apparently been made two months ago. There were never going to be any tariffs imposed. Most of the media bought all the lies, and gave Trump praise–for nothing. Additionally, those who “somehow” knew that there would be no tariffs, despite (planted) stories to the contrary, made all sorts of money from four straight days of big gains for the stock market, after the fake stories about imminent tariffs had driven the market down. Maybe they made immense profits on the fake stories, too

    . My guess is that Trump himself has ways to trade massively in stocks, and is making hundreds of millions of dollars from it, plus his cabal of billionaires are doing so as well. It is a crime organization, which is plundering the economy in ways that we can hardly imagine. No one does a thing about it, though. This is how the Russian oligarchs became billionaires, and of course were required to regularly tithe to their leader, Putin, who has become about the richest man in the world, and undoubtedly had many suggestions for Trump as to how this is worked. If somehow some journalist could unearth this ongoing market manipulation by the Trump syndicate, it could be devastating to this regime. On the other hand. a book I read about the stock market in the 1920’s, described how there were these groups of very rich and well known people who would pump and dump stocks via planted stories; and that the average citizens knew about all of this, but were so excited at the possibilities, that they would rush to get in, when they learned that the big boys were teaming up to buy a stock, I guess hoping that it would keep going up for a while longer. People do not seem to care much about being fleeced by the rich.They were told that Whitewater was a big deal, though, and dutifully waved their fists and shouted imprecations at the Clintons.

    • I’ve never understood why the wingnuts were all afire over Whitewater. Bill and Hillary lost a bundle on that misadventure. They were fleeced. If they’d actually been corrupt, you’d think they would at least have shown a profit.

  15. “Mike Doyle has been trying for a couple of years now to reinstate Net Neutrality. We should all be concerned that our internet providers have the power now to slow down or disrupt the news we choose to receive.”

    Or, as I’ve tried to explain to Glenn Reynolds time and time again: “Do you really want your access to the Fox News website controlled by the company that owns MSNBC?” The abolition of net neutrality hurts *everyone*.

  16. And my last post silently disappeared – just as they do on NC. Thank you, WordPress.

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