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If you pay attention to the business news, you may have noticed that Twitter isn't doing too well - its stock price and user base are stagnant.  It's been trying to find a corporate acquirer, and in particular, was in talks with Salesforce.  But a couple of days ago, Salesforce announced it was walking away.  And now there's this:
Twitter trolls were part of the reason why Salesforce walked away from a deal

[A]ccording to CNBC's "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer, Salesforce was turned off by a more fundamental problem that's been hurting Twitter for years: trolls.

"What's happened is, a lot of the bidders are looking at people with lots of followers and seeing the hatred," Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," citing a recent conversation with Benioff. "I know that the haters reduce the value of the company...I know that Salesforce was very concerned about this notion."
It's actually heartening to see that Twitter's failure to address harassment is now impacting the bottom line. Gives me a kind of renewed faith in capitalism.
giandujakiss: (Default)
that the GOP didn't just nominate a political neophyte, but possibly the actual worst person in the country


Oct. 12th, 2016 05:59 pm
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Two Women Say Donald Trump Touched Them Inappropriately

More than three decades ago, when she was a traveling businesswoman at a paper company, [Jessica] Leeds said, she sat beside Mr. Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York. They had never met before.

About 45 minutes after takeoff, she recalled, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her.

According to Ms. Leeds, Mr. Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

She fled to the back of the plane. “It was an assault,” she said.


[Rachel] Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan, when she encountered Mr. Trump outside an elevator in the building one morning in 2005.

Aware that her company did business with Mr. Trump, she turned and introduced herself. They shook hands, but Mr. Trump would not let go, she said. Instead, he began kissing her cheeks. Then, she said, he “kissed me directly on the mouth.”

It didn’t feel like an accident, she said. It felt like a violation.

“It was so inappropriate,” Ms. Crooks recalled in an interview. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.”


In a phone interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated Mr. Trump denied every one of the women’s claims.

“None of this ever took place,” said Mr. Trump, who began shouting at The Times reporter who was questioning him. He said that The Times was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organization if it reported them.

“You are a disgusting human being,” he told the reporter as she questioned him about the women’s claims.

Asked whether he had ever done any of the kissing or groping that he had described on the recording, Mr. Trump was once again insistent: “I don’t do it. I don’t do it. It was locker room talk.”

There's video of Leeds's interview at the link.  Worth watching.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Balloon Juice has collected a bunch.

It is an insult that we all have to pretend that somehow there's a contest between Clinton and this loon.

It is terrifying that the GOP is still actively working to get him elected - up to and including massive voter suppression.
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From a legal-mystery standpoint, it's fairly by-the-numbers. But I am excited to see a woman play the maverick-operates-on-her-own-rules-because-she's-just-that-good character. The last time I saw it attempted was Dana Delaney in Body of Proof, where she was basically a Dr. House-like medical examiner, but they couldn't quite commit to her being just as obnoxious as House, so they had to soften her.

Also, they're 'shipping her with Eddie Cahill and I've always had soft spot for Eddie Cahill. Which means, I have no hope for the actual plots, but I am interested to see where they're going with the characters.

Also, they've got a Hillary Clinton analog who looks like she'll be appropriately complex and ruthless.

BTW, I am in love with Pitch, so that's a thing.  And I didn't even realize it was the Saved by the Bell dude under that beard.  I feel very old.
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when I return it's like 10 new horri-mazing things. I will not survive until November.
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 Wisconsin Is Systematically Failing to Provide the Photo IDs Required to Vote in November
Nine percent of registered voters in Wisconsin don’t have a valid voter-ID and many are still struggling to get the documents they need to vote in November. It appears that Wisconsin is violating multiple court orders by not promptly giving eligible citizens free IDs or certificates for voting. This is particularly concerning since early voting began this week in cities like Madison and Milwaukee and thousands of Wisconsinites are casting ballots.


Sep. 29th, 2016 04:41 am
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Republicans in Denial That the Debate Exposed Donald Trump As Unfit for Office
So Trump, according to the people trying to help him win, is unable to pick good staff, manage his time, follow advice, or even accept the connection between preparing for an event and succeeding at it. Republicans have so internalized Trump’s wild unsuitability for the presidency that they have decided to treat these facts as mere hurdles to overcome on the path to the presidency. But why are they trying to help him win in the first place?
It really is extraordinary. By every measure Trump is revealing that he cannot be rehabilitated - and half of his platform is anathema to conservatives. Their continued support for him is ... well, disappointing does not begin to cover it. The only bright spot is that so far, even solidly Republican newspapers have refused to endorse him.
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This May Be The Most Horrible Thing That Donald Trump Believes
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has offered a litany of racist comments, which it turns out may be rooted in his deeper belief in the inherent superiority of some people ― and not others.

The Frontline documentary “The Choice,” which premiered this week on PBS, reveals that Trump agrees with the dangerous and abusive theory of eugenics.

Trump’s father instilled in him the idea that their family’s success was genetic, according to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio. “The family subscribes to a racehorse theory of human development,” D’Antonio says in the documentary. “They believe that there are superior people and that if you put together the genes of a superior woman and a superior man, you get a superior offspring.”
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In ‘Hitler,’ an Ascent From ‘Dunderhead’ to Demagogue

How did Adolf Hitler — described by one eminent magazine editor in 1930 as a “half-insane rascal,” a “pathetic dunderhead,” a “nowhere fool,” a “big mouth” — rise to power in the land of Goethe and Beethoven? What persuaded millions of ordinary Germans to embrace him and his doctrine of hatred? How did this “most unlikely pretender to high state office” achieve absolute power in a once democratic country and set it on a course of monstrous horror?


Mr. Ullrich sets out to strip away the mythology that Hitler created around himself in “Mein Kampf,” and he also tries to look at this “mysterious, calamitous figure” not as a monster or madman, but as a human being with “undeniable talents and obviously deep-seated psychological complexes.”

“In a sense,” he says in an introduction, “Hitler will be ‘normalized’ — although this will not make him seem more ‘normal.’ If anything, he will emerge as even more horrific.”

Mr. Ullrich, like other biographers, provides vivid insight into some factors that helped turn a “Munich rabble-rouser” — regarded by many as a self-obsessed “clown” with a strangely “scattershot, impulsive style” — into “the lord and master of the German Reich.”

• Hitler was often described as an egomaniac who “only loved himself” — a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization and what Mr. Ullrich calls a “characteristic fondness for superlatives.” His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity. But Mr. Ullrich underscores Hitler’s shrewdness as a politician — with a “keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations.”

• Hitler was known, among colleagues, for a “bottomless mendacity” that would later be magnified by a slick propaganda machine that used the latest technology (radio, gramophone records, film) to spread his message. A former finance minister wrote that Hitler “was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth” and editors of one edition of “Mein Kampf” described it as a “swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts.”

• Hitler was an effective orator and actor, Mr. Ullrich reminds readers, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences. Although he concealed his anti-Semitism beneath a “mask of moderation” when trying to win the support of the socially liberal middle classes, he specialized in big, theatrical rallies staged with spectacular elements borrowed from the circus. Here, “Hitler adapted the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners,” Mr. Ullrich writes. He peppered his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers. Even as he fomented chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments, he offered himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order....

He benefited from a “constellation of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously” — in addition to economic woes and unemployment, there was an “erosion of the political center” and a growing resentment of the elites. The unwillingness of Germany’s political parties to compromise had contributed to a perception of government dysfunction, Mr. Ullrich suggests, and the belief of Hitler supporters that the country needed “a man of iron” who could shake things up.

• Hitler’s ascension was aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity, and by foreign statesmen who believed they could control his aggression. Early on, revulsion at Hitler’s style and appearance, Mr. Ullrich writes, led some critics to underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismissed him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating “evening’s entertainment.”

Scared yet?

Edit: More on this, with linkage.
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A Grain Of Saul: I Wrote That I Despised Hillary Clinton. Today, I Want To Publicly Take It Back.

When this election began, I was like millions of millennial men: a "Bernie bro" rooting hard for Sen. Sanders.

Watching the candidate of my dreams get steam late and lose in the primary wasn't so different from watching my favorite football team not have enough energy to complete a fourth quarter rally. Hopeful, exciting, but ultimately deflating and disappointing.

When Hillary Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee, I was distraught. Months before I had written about her, explaining that I despised her not for her gender — as some of her supporters accused — but for her hawkishness, her center-left policies, her husband's crime bill that incarcerated so many people of color, her support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and her inability to get progressive on climate change policy.

I've spent almost every waking hour of every day following this election, reading about Hillary, Donald Trump, both parties' platforms, and the under-qualified Libertarian and Green Party candidates running. ...

Let's start with a simple but important position: Hillary Clinton is the most qualified person to ever run for president....

Throughout her time in public service, Hillary Clinton has negotiated ceasefires in Israel, put the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act into law, authored the Pediatric Research Equity Act (which helped re-label drugs to keep millions of children safe), and she got the EU, Russia, China and other world powers to participate in the crippling sanctions on Iran that forced the country to negotiate its nuclear plan out of existence. All while enduring propaganda that thrust Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation — from which there's also been no evidence of wrongdoing, in fact, quite the contrary — into the public's mind.

And throughout all that time, Clinton has traveled the world advocating a better life for women in places where that concept wasn't even on the radar. She's pushed for paternity leave here in the United States, and became a symbol of women's rights and women's progress everywhere. Looking at Secretary Clinton and reading about her accomplishments, it's tough to think that it was just 100 years ago the U.S. elected the first woman to Congress. That 100 years later, she's our first female candidate for president to win a primary.

And what does she get for all of this work? As the debate wrapped up on Monday night, Clinton endured Trump's threats to mention her husband's adultery despite the fact he's had three marriages, and been accused of rape and adultery himself.


giandujakiss: (Default)
People who want to vote for the Republican but have doubts about Trump, and people who don't know how to decide.  The latter group are literally people who don't know how to think through political issues and make a choice.  I'm not sure whether these people actually vote at all, but I think fundamentally, they just don't know how to reason through the problem.  (My theory is based on articles involving undecideds, and their comments on the candidates).

And for this latter group, I think this article gives the most insight into how they perceived the debate:
I Muted Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton During the Debate. I Still Knew the Score.

It was a little shimmy of her shoulders — cheeky, insouciant — accompanied by a big, toothy grin. Her opponent smirked.

She looked as if she was having fun. He, not so much.

The exchange came as the first presidential debate was building toward its conclusion Monday night. What was it about?

I have no idea.

Per instructions from my editor, I was watching with the sound off. Alone. No checking my email, no talking to my wife, no social media. It was, for me, a silent debate.

The idea was simple: to test the theory that what presidential candidates — in this instance, Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump — say during debates is less important than what they look like while they’re saying it.
giandujakiss: (Scully)
The Most Thankless Job in the 2016 Election: Meet Hillary's Brilliant, Beleaguered Policy Team
Ultimately, Clinton settled on a scheme the campaign named the “New College Compact.” The goal, making public college debt-free, was simple. The mechanics were not. … James Kvaal, a former Obama administration adviser who consulted on the initiative, described it in an email as “a once-in-a-century change in the relationship between the federal government and colleges, on par with the Morrill Act (which created land grant colleges in the 19th Century) and the G.I. Bill.”

A few days before Clinton’s speech, O’Leary convened a final conference call to discuss media strategy. Anticipating a lot of attention, she instructed the team to be ready by the phones. Clinton delivered her address at a high school in Exeter, New Hampshire, and afterward, held a press conference in the gym. She got just one query about the plan. Earlier that week, Trump had described Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly as having “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” during a debate, and so Clinton was grilled on whether Trump should apologize to Kelly, whether he had a problem with women, and what Clinton thought of the fact that Trump had retweeted someone who called Kelly a bimbo.

Over the next 24 hours, the tuition plan received only perfunctory coverage. “The calls just never came,” recalls Gene Sperling, another one of Clinton’s advisers. “It was all Kelly-Trump, 24/7.” Even many professional policy types didn’t grasp the full scope of her proposal; I didn’t realize it myself until I began researching this article. As primary season wore on, her scheme was overshadowed by a bolder, shinier promise from Senator Bernie Sanders: free public college for everyone.

The episode was typical of how this election has unfolded. Clinton’s policy operation has churned out more than 60 papers outlining plans for everything from housing for people with serious mental illness to adjusting the cap on loans from the Small Business Administration…

Clinton’s plans are as unambiguously progressive as any from a Democratic nominee in modern history—and almost nobody seems to have noticed.

The peculiar political dynamics of this election are largely to blame. In Sanders, Clinton drew an opponent whose ideas were even more grandiose than hers. Pretty much anything that Clinton wanted to do, Sanders also wanted to do, but on a bigger scale. Then, after Clinton clinched the nomination, policy dropped out of the conversation almost completely. A rare exception was the childcare policy Trump released in September, which was almost comically geared to benefit the rich. He has also issued three completely different versions of his tax plan. “She’s got people that sit in cubicles writing policy all day,” Trump told a reporter. “It’s just a waste of paper.
giandujakiss: (Default)
Is anyone else amused that Bianca Lawson is playing a character named Darla?

One detail that keeps striking me - Blue, the little boy, plays with what appears to be some kind of Barbie-like doll, and it's entirely unremarked. That's just his favorite toy, whatever.

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