Print Story There's a room where the light won't find you
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 12:54:03 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Politics (all tags)
Reading: "The Night Clock". Politics. Links


What I'm Reading
The Night Clock by Paul Meloy. Urban fantasy/horror with extradimensional nasties fighting a group of individuals with special powers, first in a possible series.

Has some nice touches, with some neatly grotesque characters like the cowardly PCSO and a few good scenes. But it's hampered by weak plotting. The plot constantly switched between characters, mostly doing mysterious things without any clear goals. Despite interesting scenese overall it's a bit dull and confusing. I found it hard to get motivated to pick the book up each time.

The book is already in a crowded space, with David Wong, Jim Butcher and Ben Aaronovitch already doing similar things, so really needs to try harder to stand out.

Not really recommended, though the series might get better. Unfairly while this book is probably better than the first Dresden files, it's now competing against a much tougher field.

Politics
There does seem to have been a bit of a Great Resmuggening among the more establishment minded commentators and bloggers lately. They seem optimistic that Brexit can be cancelled by some combination of Civil Service and Parliamentary resistance. They're relieved that the Parliamentary Labour Party has finally openly turned on Jeremy Corbyn, and reassured that a comfortable defeat for Donald Trump will chasten the Republicans. Overall they're confident that the status quo of early 2015 can be restored.

I expect they can get some of these things, but I doubt they'll get everything.

Brexit seems almost to be a case of irresistible force versus immovable object. The Remainers seem to have talked themselves into believing that public opinion will become a resistible force when it turns out that the magic combination of full single market membership, banking passports, no budget contributions and no freedom of movement isn't available. The thing is, everyone has a lifetime of political experience where there's a campaign where extravagant promises are made, then someone wins and you get some but not all of the promises fulfilled. A Brexit deal where some of the promises get fulfilled will therefore probably seen as acceptable politics. Cancelling Brexit altogether would be seen as an unreasonable betrayal: people expect something to happen after they've voted.

Whether the Republican Party turns away from Tea Party/Donald Trump populism seems dubious too, though it depends on the scale of the result. If there's a catastrophic defeat for the Republicans, it might change some minds. The usual benchmark for a catastrophic Republican defeat is Goldwater in 1964, when he lost the popular vote 38.5% to 61.1%, left the Senate 66 to 34 Democrat and the House 258 to 176 Democrat. Unless the polls change drastically, something that dramatic looks unlikely: FiveThirtyEight's current prediction is popular vote 48% Hillary, 43% Trump. NYT is predicting a 55% chance of Democrats taking the Senate, and most seem to think Republicans can hold the House. Republican populists might just conclude they need one more heave with a slicker campaign.

It's hard to guess what will happen with Corbyn. He looks set to win again, though it's significant that longer-established party members are more in favour of Owen Smith. It remains to be seen if the MPs will keep up their anonymous tough talk of perpetual war or find a fig-leaf to rally round him.

Links
Socioeconomics. German budget surpluses are bad for the global economy. When Economic Doomsayers Stumble. Graph of UK income inequality vs. household disposable income at the 50th percentile under various Prime Ministers.

Sci/Tech. How to get engineering teams to eat their vegetables. OMICS vs. The FTC: Plagiarism at a Predatory Publisher Bizarre ant colony discovered in an abandoned Polish nuclear weapons bunker. Automatic recycling.

Video. Industrial cleaning laser. Long sunrise videos, e.g. New Zealand. Two year old addresses trolley problem.

Politics. David Cameron's fatal insouciance. Harry Potter and the Conscience of a Liberal. YouGov/Times poll of Labour leadership race, Small print: "Smith is seen as even less likely than Corbyn to lead Labour to victory... Corbyn’s support is broadly consistent amongst all age groups". France acts tough but looks powerless. The court that rules the world, via.

US politics. A Farewell Guide to Political Journalism. The union movement's problem isn't that workers don't want to fight; it's that they don't want to lose. The new ancien regime arrives in the white house. Bleeding heart libertarians? Phone and online polls tell different stories about US election. (This happened with Brexit polling: phone predicted massive Remain win, online slight Remain win, pollsters expected something in between, in fact result was slight Leave. If that happens again, Trump could win...)

Random. Adjective order. Soviet Movies Online, via. Old painting fails? Snake and palm tree symbol. Third Stream music.

Local. The Secret Caves Of Blackheath.

< Wibble | Three cheers for severe obstructive sleep apnea! >
There's a room where the light won't find you | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
A bit alarmist by ucblockhead (4.00 / 3) #1 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 02:14:03 AM EST
While Trump is does a better in online polls, he's still losing pretty badly according to them.  Also, beware thinking in national percentages in US elections as they are entirely meaningless.

The Republican party leadership knows what most politically savvy know: That the Republican lead in the house is structural, primarily due to gerrymandering in the 2010 redistricting.  Whether they will be able to control the populist elements of their party is another matter entirely.  You are treating the Republican populist elements like savvy political wonks...they aren't.  They are true believers who will use roughly the same line, win or lose.  That's why the Republican party leadership is so screwed.

No one expects a Goldwater loss because the conditions for a Goldwater loss are simply not here.  The nation was far less divided then and votes could swing much more dramatically then than they do now.  Goldwater lost that badly because he lost the Republican liberal wing while Johnson mostly kept hold of the conservative Democrats.  Those two things don't exist now.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

And the economy favors Trump by lm (4.00 / 3) #2 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 08:04:04 AM EST
All things being held equal, the GOP should have a slight edge this election cycle. The economy is doing well but not well enough to favor the incumbent party. That in itself suggests that the race should be tighter than what it is.

And Clinton's large negative favorability ratings make her a weaker than usual candidate despite her formidable political skills on the organizational front.

That Trump is so far behind in the polls speaks volumes to his unsuitability as a candidate It's almost like out of a field of 20, the GOP picked the one candidate who is almost guaranteed to lose to Clinton.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Yes by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 11:23:46 AM EST
And of course the Republican establishment knows this, and never in a million years would have picked him.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
They might as well have by lm (4.00 / 2) #4 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 02:28:35 PM EST
I don't know whose idea it was to not lean harder on the candidates to drop out before Iowa. Or, at the very least, to find some mechanism to wean the heard before people started voting.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
What they need... by ana (4.00 / 1) #5 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 03:19:41 PM EST
...is to spend more effort suppressing the vote of Republican would-be primary voters, and less on general election voters.

Or get rabies. Also don't do that. --scrymarch

[ Parent ]
What I'd like to see ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 03:46:54 PM EST
... is someone work out a form of a jungle primary that works across multiple states so that we have a mechanism that produces just two candidates for the November election yet still respects individual states as entities in their own right.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Like everyone else... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #7 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 04:25:12 PM EST
they didn't take him as a serious threat and were planning for things to happen like 2012, with the voters reluctantly settling on Jeb! or someone like him.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
That's almost a fair point by lm (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 06:04:09 PM EST
But even if Trump were absent from the race, I don't see how they thought that anything close to a consensus candidate could emerge from such a broad field.

Honestly, Cruz as the nominee wouldn't have been much better.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Well again by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #9 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 07:33:52 PM EST
That's what happened in 2012.  They started out with 13-15 candidates, many of them frankly loony tunes, then the field thinned out as each of the crackpots flamed out until they were left with Romney, a candidate that was seen as just as lackluster as Jeb! was in February.  I think the establishment expected that to happen again.  I'm not saying it was smart, just what they expected.

Whether Cruz would have done better or worse without a Trump in the race is an interesting question.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I don't think it's an interesting question by lm (4.00 / 1) #10 Sun Sep 04, 2016 at 11:43:03 PM EST
I highly doubt much of Trump's backing would have went to Bush or Graham or Rubio or Kasich or any of the other establishment figures in the race if Trump were not in it. They would have either stayed at home or been in the corner of Cruz or one of the other challengers of the establishment.

And, well, 2012 was  cluster-fuck for the GOP just like this cycle only a hair bit smaller in magnitude. Despite the "autopsy" the message that the rank and file carried away from 2012 was that they lose if they don't elect a "real" conservative.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
picked the one candidate ... guaranteed to lose by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Sep 06, 2016 at 06:45:41 AM EST
They did that in the Virginia governor's race. The Democrats settled on McAuliffe, who is a long-time Clinton operative and widely regarded (fairly or not) as being as honest as Hillary. So who did the Republicans nominate? Bolling, who could get the support of most independents and many Democrats? Of course not! They nominated Cuccinelli, who drove turnout up among Democrats, and who convinced many white women in the suburbs to vote against him.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I'm still dumbfounded that McAuliffe won that race by lm (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Sep 06, 2016 at 06:33:08 PM EST
But that may just be me projecting. McAuliffe is one of the Clinton tribe that I dislike very much.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
He won because Cuccinell was a whack job by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Sep 07, 2016 at 08:17:51 AM EST
Cuccinelli makes Ted Cruz look all moderate and statesman-like. Cuccinelli was well to the right of many Republicans in Virginia.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
That ant article creeped me out n/t by gmd (4.00 / 2) #12 Tue Sep 06, 2016 at 04:54:53 PM EST
 

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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
There's a room where the light won't find you | 14 comments (14 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback