On account of the US government shutdown, there will be no open post today.

Nah, I’m bullshitting.  I’ll leave the usual exaggerated shutdown theatrics to the federal employees.

No word yet on whether park rangers have put a tape perimeter around Yosemite National Park.  But it’s still early in the shutdown.

Both parties are fighting hard to pin the blame on each other for the shutdown.  From my perspective, it isn’t hard to understand what it came down to.

I know it annoys some people around here when I talk about how Trump’s base sees things, but Trump won in 2016 on the sentiment that the government cares more about foreign nationals at the expense of American citizens.  Proving that it’s true isn’t a good strategy for the Democrats, no matter how sympathetic they think the Dreamers are.  But it will all come down to who’s message the public believes.  For the moment, GOP spines are holding firm.  I say they should go on the offensive with their immigration plan (while they can), but it remains to be seen if they can prevail in the blame game long enough to get there.

Truth be told, I don’t think assigning blame is the point of this whole shitshow, though Hal at RTFLC makes an argument that Trump and the GOP screwed up by letting it get to this point and deserve 80% of the blame.  Both sides are dug in on immigration and it is possibly the single consequential long-term existential issue the US is facing.  Who are we and who do we want to become?  That’s the real question, isn’t it?

Here’s a good rundown of the House GOP’s immigration reform plan vs the Senate’s.  Me gusto el Casa plan.

Only thing missing is adoption of a national voter ID card.

Oh, and people are pissed off that this is happening:

It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone that when you’re breaking the law, you’re better off keeping a low profile about it.  I remember a long time ago when some guy on the Howard Stern Show claimed on-air that he hadn’t filed income taxes for five years.  He was surprised when the IRS really went after him.  He shouldn’t have been nor should these DACA activists now.

On to other topics.

Anybody see the buzz around that FISA Abuse Memo?

Supposedly, it will destroy Deep State and lock up Hillary and send Mueller home.  Meh.  I don’t expect much from it.  Understand that I think it’s likely that the Obama Administration misused national security programs and expertise for political reasons.  I just don’t believe that this memo is going to provide the smoking gun or lead to anything of the enormity that some of these GOP congressmen claim.  They’re probably overselling it, really.

Twitter, being terrified that its platform may once again get blamed for helping a Democratic presidential candidate lose an election, has sent some creepy emails to users who may have “liked” Russian propaganda.  I don’t believe Twitter though.  This is all a pretext for suppressing right-wing perspectives.

Yes, I got one of these emails too.  Thankfully, they didn’t say anything about the dick pics I’ve been DM’ing all over Creation, being that they’re definitely not endorsed by Putin.

There’s a Women’s March on this weekend.

Trump’s trolling game is unusually strong lately.  It leads me to this post from Ace that pins down why he says and does what he does.

Trump’s manner of engaging with The Blob of left-wing virtue-signalling and status-conferring is to attempt to degrade the left wing cultural Borg of its own social status, thereby reducing its ability to set tastes, serve as “gatekeepers” of what the right-minded people agree are proper attitudes and beliefs, and demonize dissenters.

This is often ugly — but that’s how the sausage gets made. It does not matter if you produce a well-researched and well-cited bit of argument as to your position if the cultural princelings of the left can simply say “You’re a Nazi and you hate women” and thereby, with seven stupid words, raze not only your argument but your entire claim to basic human dignity.

Most interesting thing I’ve read this week, that.

Remember MH 370?  The search is being renewed.

A private Texas based company Ocean Infinity will begin a 90 day search of the proposed new search zone, beginning as early as tomorrow.

It will use eight state-of-the-art underwater drones to scan the ocean floor, which in areas is almost 5km deep

Good luck to them.

The Last Jedi is dead in China, but is Snoke still alive?  One fan thinks so.  Warning: If you hate the movie, you can probably skip this.  Here, watch this instead.  It’s more your speed.

I disagree with this theory.  First, it doesn’t make sense.  Was Snoke’s plan to project himself in the throne room knowing that Kylo Ren would try to kill him?  Alright, I can see that for safety reasons.  But keep in mind that Snoke also had to project himself getting eviscerated and then maintain the illusion that his body parts were laying all over the thrown room.

What was the plan?  Keep focusing on projecting his body parts for several hours until somebody could come by and gather them up for a proper burial?  Remember that the few minutes that Luke spent pulling the astral projection stunt killed him.  He also wasn’t able to project Kylo Ren killing him, even though it might have bought the fleeing Resistance members a few more minutes.  The lightsaber just passed through him and the jig was up.

My second area of disagreement is that anyone should even care about Snoke.  I don’t.  It’s enough for me to know that he was a very powerful Dark Side Force user, he turned Kylo Ren away from the Light, and then was betrayed and murdered by him.  Kylo Ren’s story is great now because he’s achieved his life goal.  He is more powerful than Darth Vader.  He’s chief of the Dark Side and rules the Empire.  Vader was always second banana to Palpatine.

Having Snoke still alive would weaken Kylo Ren’s story.  Worse, there’s nowhere to go with such a plotline.  Let’s say Snoke lives and Kylo Ren has to choose whether to ally with Rey to fight him.  If that’s the case, then what was the point of Kylo Ren deciding not to ally with Rey when he had the chance?  He has taken over.  His choice is made.  He is to be a tragic character.  Anybody who would see Snoke survive is expecting Kylo Ren to still become a hero.  I don’t see it.  I’m most interested in seeing where the dark path takes him.  He’s undeniably made the choice to follow it, first by killing his dad and then by rejecting Rey and finally trying to kill ghost Luke.

Snoke will eventually get a stand-alone movie.  That’s where you’ll get his origin story, for those who care.  I generally don’t like origin stories so I’m indifferent on this one.

What happened to ESPN?  Spoiler: It wasn’t politics, according to this commentator anyway.

Hmm.  This reminds me.  You know what we haven’t done in awhile?  Argued about NFL kneeling.  How are things going for the NFL these days?

Adding all these numbers up 120.8 million viewers watched the NFL divisional round playoffs in 2018 vs. 144.1 million who watched in 2017, a decline of 23.3 million total viewers.

That’s an overall viewership decline of over 16%, even steeper than last week’s 13% playoff decline. (Even if you leave out the Packers-Cowboys numbers completely the NFL playoff ratings would have still been down 10.3%).

These playoff numbers weren’t just bad compared to last year either, they hit a ten year low.

Will that change this coming weekend with the AFC and NFC title games? We’ll see. But no matter how you slice it, the NFL ratings, both playoff and regular season, are collapsing in 2018.

Honestly, the NFL might as well just triple down on politics.  If it’s going to collapse, they might as well use its influence and wealth to benefit the left-wing causes it cares about while it still has the ability to do so.  Won’t last much longer at this rate!

Lastly, it turns out that the War in Afghanistan was lost for want of road crews.

Hard to see how much impact we were ever going to have there if we couldn’t even maintain a 300 mile long stretch of road from Kabul to Kandahar over 16 years.  It’s time to go.

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Judge Dredd, Pro Se

The shutdown is a sideshow unless it’s going to last long enough to have an effect on markets, so no one cares. You’d have to seriously be a dumbfuck to think that anything will happen to DACA, which enjoys bi-partisan support, so to argue about it would only make anyone engaging in it also a dumbfuck. It’s not worth wasting breath, time or thought on to try and convince the small number of petulant and extremist dumbfucks in this nation that this is a non-issue to anyone but them. The football issue is another dumbfuck issue because anyone that is… Read more »

Judge Dredd, Pro Se

I was explaining WHY no one that’s sharp gives a fuck about them, so as not to be completely apathetic.

Zurvan

I own these socks. I may send a pair to Dredd.

I’m curious to know what happened to Amelia Earhart.

Executed by the Japanese.

Thrill

And so ends the shutdown. This was very stupid on the Democrats’ part. A DACA vote was going to happen as part of an immigration reform vote no matter what. There was no reason to force the issue now since it could have waited all the way until March, if not even later.

There was literally no reason for the shutdown at all.

Best thing for the GOP to do is vote on the House immigration bill right away.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/jan/22/dems-give-shutdown-fight/

And so ends the shutdown

Democrats suuuuuuuuuck.

Zurvan

Do you know either of these men:
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Zurvan

Is that Putin without a shirt riding the Tardis? That’s hilarious.

Zurvan

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Oh I wasn’t accusing you of gloating. I was accusing the Democrats of sucking. The brilliant GOP strategy was that Democrats suck. See also Gorsuch, Neil. It’s arguable whether forcing the shutdown was a good strategy to get CHIP and DACA passed (I think it was, but it’s not 100% clear) but the massive upside was to signal to the newly energised electorate that they mean business and are willing to fight. The Democrats stood up to the Republicans, showed they were willing to fight for something that they believed in (even though it wasn’t exactly something that was controversial)… Read more »

Zurvan

Not only have they demonstrated to McConnell and Ryan that they don’t have the balls to stand up to them when the going gets tough, they’ve demonstrated to the electorate that they don’t really have the balls to fight for more progressive views in the face of Trump and the Republicans. So what’s the point? It’s a bit fascinating that I could replace the names above to the opposite party, and have the exact same view. Republicans have demonstrated time and again, even since handing them both houses, and the White House, that they have no stomach to actually pass… Read more »

Yep exactly. Although I’d say the Supreme Court nominations was a spectacular bit of cold bastardy, that if we’re really honest, us liberals wish we had the stones to pull off.

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