[News] Post a Political News Story

Ongoing discussion of the political news of the day. This thread is for 'smaller' stories that don't call for their own thread. If a story blows up, please start a new thread for it.

How Fan Culture Is Swallowing Democracy

I could not humanly agree with the central thrust here enough. Then again, I think modern fan culture is fairly deranged, at best.

We are witnessing a great convergence between politics and culture, values and aesthetics, citizenship and commercialism. Here, civic participation is converted seamlessly into consumer habit. Political battles are waged through pop songs and novelty prayer candles and evocative emoji. Elizabeth Warren is cast as a “Harry Potter” character and Kamala Harris is sliced into a reaction GIF. This is democracy reimagined as celebrity fandom, and it is now a dominant mode of experiencing politics.

NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/14/s...

During the winter of her freshman year, a drunken dormitory party unsettled her deeply. She and some classmates had been drinking heavily when, she says, a freshman named Brett Kavanaugh pulled down his pants and thrust his penis at her, prompting her to swat it away and inadvertently touch it. Some of the onlookers, who had been passing around a fake penis earlier in the evening, laughed.

But while we found Dr. Ford’s allegations credible during a 10-month investigation, Ms. Ramirez’s story could be more fully corroborated. During his Senate testimony, Mr. Kavanaugh said that if the incident Ms. Ramirez described had occurred, it would have been “the talk of campus.” Our reporting suggests that it was.

At least seven people, including Ms. Ramirez’s mother, heard about the Yale incident long before Mr. Kavanaugh was a federal judge. Two of those people were classmates who learned of it just days after the party occurred, suggesting that it was discussed among students at the time.

We also uncovered a previously unreported story about Mr. Kavanaugh in his freshman year that echoes Ms. Ramirez’s allegation. A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.)

Vox: Kamala Harris and Julián Castro call for Brett Kavanaugh’s impeachment after new allegation
The Supreme Court Justice faces a new sexual misconduct allegation.

WP: Democratic candidates demand Kavanaugh impeachment after new allegation in Times piece

I don’t doubt he is guilty of all the accusations. Sadly, At this point, I’m not sure what can be done. Even if Democrats gain control of Both houses and the presidency next year, impeaching a supreme Court justice seems to be a stretch for many reasons.

JC wrote:

I don’t doubt he is guilty of all the accusations. Sadly, At this point, I’m not sure what can be done. Even if Democrats gain control of Both houses and the presidency next year, impeaching a supreme Court justice seems to be a stretch for many reasons.

If perjury during your confirmation isn't impeachable, we're not living in a democracy anymore.

Spoiler:

Which might, in fact, mean that we're not in a democracy and laws mean nothing.

Yeah perjury should be an obvious reason for both parties.

But then again it was obvious he was lying at the time about numerous other things (Devil's Triangle, etc.) and stupid Collins voted him in anyway.

Stele wrote:

Yeah perjury should be an obvious reason for both parties.

But then again it was obvious he was lying at the time about numerous other things (Devil's Triangle, etc.) and stupid Collins voted him in anyway.

Party over country...

Stele wrote:

Yeah perjury should be an obvious reason for both parties.

But then again it was obvious he was lying at the time about numerous other things (Devil's Triangle, etc.) and stupid Collins voted him in anyway.

He perjured himself when he gave that bullsh*t about respecting precedence.

Also, Sessions committed perjury and nothing happened.

Rule of law is disintegrating as we speak. We are not a democracy, but there's a chance we can get it back if we work for it.

Mixolyde wrote:
Stele wrote:

Yeah perjury should be an obvious reason for both parties.

But then again it was obvious he was lying at the time about numerous other things (Devil's Triangle, etc.) and stupid Collins voted him in anyway.

He perjured himself when he gave that bullsh*t about respecting precedence.

Also, Sessions committed perjury and nothing happened.

Rule of law is disintegrating as we speak. We are not a democracy, but there's a chance we can get it back if we work for it.

IMAGE(https://cdn.britannica.com/s:1500x700,q:85/69/132669-004-AF290F2D/guillotine-execution-de-la-Revolution-canvas-paper-1793.jpg)

/hyperbole

WSJ: OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy Protection: Partial deal is aimed at resolving lawsuits filed by states, municipalities accusing it of fueling opioid crisis

Purdue Pharma LP filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday night with a partial deal aimed at resolving thousands of lawsuits filed by states and municipalities accusing it of fueling the opioid crisis.

AL.com: Luther Strange’s role in the Purdue Pharma opioid settlement embraced by GOP states

The opioid crisis has hit virtually every pocket of the U.S., from rural towns in deeply conservative states to big cities in liberal-leaning ones. But a curious divide has opened up.

The nation's Republican state attorneys general have, for the most part, lined up in support of a tentative multibillion-dollar settlement with OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, while their Democratic counterparts have mostly come out against it, decrying it as woefully inadequate.

Exactly why this is so is unclear, and some of those involved suggested it can't necessarily be explained by the fact that the Republican Party is considered more friendly to big business.

Some of the attention has focused on the role played by Luther Strange, a Republican former Alabama attorney general who has been working for members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue Pharma.

Yahoo: OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy

Purdue Pharma, the US drug maker behind opioid painkiller OxyContin, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Chapter 11 filing, announced late Sunday, is part of a proposed $10bn settlement of legal cases alleging the company profited from the US opioid addiction epidemic.

Purdue said in a statement that it has filed for bankruptcy as part of efforts to settle thousands of lawsuits against it across the country, including 24 cases bought by state attorneys general.

Purdue’s assets will be placed into a trust “for the benefit of claimants and the American people”. The company said the trust’s assets should reach $10bn, including up to $4.5bn from the Sackler family, which owns Purdue.

I think one of the "when democrats have the ability to pass laws again" priorities should be to pass something similar to the con job we played on student loan debt: Prevent corporations and those who have enjoyed their profits from escaping paying damages to those they have intentionally harmed by filing for bankruptcy.

thrawn82 wrote:

I think one of the "when democrats have the ability to pass laws again" priorities should be to pass something similar to the con job we played on student loan debt: Prevent corporations and those who have enjoyed their profits from escaping paying damages to those they have intentionally harmed by filing for bankruptcy.

Add employee pensions into this; companies shouldn't be able to ditch this kind of responsibility either.

It's a loose distinction but I'd draw a line between obligations created by the organization, like pensions and damages, and obligations imposed from outside like loans and bonds. There's risk already priced into those debts, so the debt holders should not be able to rely on the government socializing their losses.

NASCAR shocks gun industry as it appears to block some firearm ads

But the real kicker is this:

"They've got the drivers shooting off blanks in the winner's circle. It doesn't make any sense," David Dolbee, the general manager for K-Var Corp., a large distributor of firearms, which submitted an advertisement that was rejected featuring an AK-47 and various accessories.

NASCAR shoots off guns to celebrate victory? Damn.
IndyCar winners drink milk

polypusher wrote:

NASCAR shoots off guns to celebrate victory? Damn.
IndyCar winners drink milk :P

Like 70% of my life on this Earth I’ve felt like American culture is actively hostile to my personal sensibilities and how I’d prefer to live my life.

Then I learn about sh*t like this and wonder if that number is way too low.

DSGamer wrote:
polypusher wrote:

NASCAR shoots off guns to celebrate victory? Damn.
IndyCar winners drink milk :P

Like 70% of my life on this Earth I’ve felt like American culture is actively hostile to my personal sensibilities and how I’d prefer to live my life.

Then I learn about sh*t like this and wonder if that number is way too low.

What have you got against milk??

Chairman_Mao wrote:

NASCAR shocks gun industry as it appears to block some firearm ads

But the real kicker is this:

"They've got the drivers shooting off blanks in the winner's circle. It doesn't make any sense," David Dolbee, the general manager for K-Var Corp., a large distributor of firearms, which submitted an advertisement that was rejected featuring an AK-47 and various accessories.

After digging a bit it looks like the winner's circle shooting only happens at the Texas Motor Speedway where it's been a thing since way back in the olden days of 2005. It stems from a promotional partnership between the track and Smith & Wesson.

The track briefly stopped its "tradition" in late 2017/early 2018 because the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas--where 26 people were killed and another 20 wounded--happened the morning of a race.

Recession Already Grips Corners of U.S., Menacing Trump’s 2020 Bid.

I so want to make some snide comments about chickens and a roost.

Stele wrote:

But then again it was obvious he was lying at the time about numerous other things (Devil's Triangle, etc.) and stupid Collins voted him in anyway.

I was yelling at my TV for the Democrats to bust out the Urban Dictionary definitions of Devil's Triangle and boofing while he was testifying.

firesloth wrote:

What have you got against milk??

Those hateful lactose intolerant people are just the worst!

Paragon of Financial Propriety, US Dept. Of Defense has to cancel some of POTUS border wall because they already ran out of money after 135 miles.

Edit: Revised numbers.

They ran out of money long before that, they just weren't allowed to take on even more debt so they had to stop.

So I assume people can just walk around the wall? Not that this was ever a real problem, but Jesus.

DSGamer wrote:

So I assume people can just walk around the wall? Not that this was ever a real problem, but Jesus.

There are sections of the border that are a chain or knee-high concrete "barrier."

Trump has cited those already existing "barriers" as improvements and/or "building the wall."

So they stop animal migration and ruin the environment while doing f*ck all to stop people. Terrible.

Reaper81 wrote:

There are sections of the border that are a chain or knee-high concrete "barrier."

Trump has cited those already existing "barriers" as improvements and/or "building the wall."

For him they are. /sarcasm

While they're at it, they're going to trample over archeological sites on federal land and use up the groundwater to make concrete.

From the military-industrial complex that brought you the smash Broadway hit, "Concurrency," we would like to offer a teaser of their next major production, "We have lost our f*cking minds after decades of zero accountability."

So new fighters every 5 years and the winning design gets a 3 year contract for 24 planes per year. They point out how designing and churning out jets with this kind of turnaround time was done in the 50's. Okay, sure, and I'm sure modern fighter aircraft are no more complicated than ones from the 1950's so I'm sure more testing and refinement time won't be needed than would have been 70 years ago. Ugh.

Anyway, taking this quote out of context makes me feel like this is the United State's motto now:

"How do you deal with a threat if you don’t know what the future technology is? Be the threat – always have a new airplane coming out."

Sounds like some manager wants to justify a fat new budget increase. Nothing from this program will ever see the light of day but tons of money will get wasted or lost to corruption, which is the actual intended purpose.

Kehama wrote:

So new fighters every 5 years and the winning design gets a 3 year contract for 24 planes per year. They point out how designing and churning out jets with this kind of turnaround time was done in the 50's. Okay, sure, and I'm sure modern fighter aircraft are no more complicated than ones from the 1950's so I'm sure more testing and refinement time won't be needed than would have been 70 years ago. Ugh.

Anyway, taking this quote out of context makes me feel like this is the United State's motto now:

"How do you deal with a threat if you don’t know what the future technology is? Be the threat – always have a new airplane coming out."

The article also points out how even in the 50s you didn't actually have fighter jets being turned around in 5 years, as most of them were based on designs from 10 years previous that had seen real flight time.

I laughed aloud at the mention of Agile solutions to freaking fighter jets though. That stuff barely works for my enterprise software applications, I cannot imagine the Air Force getting their act together enough to make it work for building physical things.

And they want to lower maintenance costs by having multiple series of small fighters? I gotta tell that one to my mechanical engineering friends, they'll probably go between incredulous laughter and cringing at how much work that's going to be.